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U.S. bishops urged to be vigilant, never complacent, in stopping abuse


Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., left, and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., pray June 14 during the opening session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual spring assembly in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

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INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, urged the U.S. bishops June 14 during their spring meeting in Indianapolis to continue to keep their commitment to stopping clergy sexual abuse and supporting victims of abuse "at the forefront" of their ministry.

He said sexual abuse of minors by clergy is "not a thing of past" and stressed the bishops have to always be vigilant and be sure to not "let complacency set in" in their efforts to stop it.

The review board is a group working with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to address and prevent sexual abuse of minors in the U.S. by clergy and other church personnel.

Cesareo pointed out there was still work to be done in this area, but he also praised the bishops for what they've accomplished and stressed that dioceses in the United States are among the safest places for children and are also models for rest of the world.

In his report to the bishops, he presented some of the key points of the recently issued 14th annual report on diocesan compliance with the U.S. Catholic Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."

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