Catholic bishops should find out what is keeping victims of sexual abuse around the world from coming forward, said Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, right, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. U.N. statistics have shown “that sex abuse is widespread and crosses all cultures and societies” and is not just a phenomenon plaguing the church or Western nations, he said on Feb. 13. A mandate from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requires all bishops to establish anti-abuse guidelines by May of this year. “We as a church...want to be at the forefront of society in helping to deal with this issue, so even in countries where there have not been allegations of abuse in the church, the church can still be a forceful agent for bringing about change in the larger society,” he said. Bishop Conlon, bishop of Joliet, Ill., was in Rome to attend two international gatherings dealing with the church’s response to child protection.

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