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The document was released by US Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the CDF (CNS photo)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says every bishops’ conference must have guidelines for handling clerical sex abuse within a year

The Vatican has asked episcopal conferences to prepare a guide in the coming year on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, announced last year that a document was being prepared (Photo: CNS)

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has sent a letter to bishops’ conferences around the world giving guidelines for dealing with clerical abuse cases

The dining hall of the Artane Industrial School in Dublin, in an undated photo. The school was run by the Christian Brothers (CNS photo/Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse)

Brother Philip Pinto says future is uncertain because of costly abuse cases and a shattered reputation

Benedict XVI receives the official WYD 2011 backpack from Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela of Madrid: each one will contain a copy of "YouCat" (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Benedict XVI tells young people in foreword to YouCat that they must know their faith ‘with precision’

Fr John Corapi, a well-known speaker and author, has been put on 'administrative leave' while an allegation against him is investigated (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, Catholic Spirit)

There are almost certainly far more of them than most of us realise

Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin lie prostrate before the altar during a liturgy of repentance in Dublin (CNS photo/John McElroy)

Bishops issue pastoral letter to mark anniversary of Pope’s letter to Irish Catholics

Cardinal O'Malley is one of several senior prelates leading an apostolic visitation of the Irish Church (Photo: CNS)

Irish priest claims Cardinal O’Malley will tell Benedict XVI that Ireland’s Church has ‘a decade at most’ to save itself

Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by Mgr Guido Marini, right, arrives at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls yesterday evening (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 26/01/11

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Fr Lombardi: the Vatican does not have a 'universal position on mandatory reporting' because laws are so different from country to country (Photo: CNS)

Fr Lombardi responds to furore over 1997 Vatican letter expressing concerns over ‘mandatory reporting’ of abuse cases