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Plan on abuser priests approved

©Associated Press
August 11, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Leaders of Roman Catholic religious orders approved details of their plan Saturday to keep sexually abusive clergy away from children but in the priesthood, creating review boards to monitor how their communities handle offenders.

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men, an association of heads of groups such as Bendictines and Jesuits, also acknowledged their members had sometimes disciplined errant clergy insufficiently.

"We are deeply sorry for that and publicly apologize for whenever and however we have failed victims or families," they said in the document, which won overwhelming approval.

The vote came at the conclusion of the organization's annual meeting, where spiritual leaders discussed how the abuse policy American bishops approved two months ago in Dallas could be adapted for their communities. About 15,000 of the 46,000 U.S. priests belong to the orders.

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