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Bishops say 2004 sex abuse claims top 1000

[JURIST] An auditing commission appointed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops reported Friday that the past year has produced 1,092 new allegations of sexual abuse against at least 756 Catholic clergymen. The disclosure of figures came in the national audit [full 64-page report, PDF] of US dioceses examining their compliance with child protections policies [full text] passed by church officials in 2002. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the USCCB's Office of Child and Youth Protection [official website] noted that half of the most recently accused priests and deacons had been previously accused of sexual abuse and that 72% of the them are dead, defrocked, or have been removed from public interaction. While the auditors, consisting mostly of former FBI agents, concluded that most dioceses have demonstrated adequate measures taken to protecting children, some groups, such as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) [official website], disagree. They claim the results to be "minimal and misleading" and stated that the bishops had too much control over those who participated. Read the SNAP press statement . AP has more.

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