Audit checking Catholic dioceses' reforms begins

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) The second annual audit of U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses' compliance with nationwide sex abuse reforms the bishops approved in 2002 has begun with small changes from the 2003 round.

A fact sheet from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said victim advocacy groups with complaints should send information to the Gavin Group of Winthrop, Mass., which is doing the on-site audits in all American dioceses.

Last year, information went first to the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Dioceses will be given results of their audit within two weeks of completion rather than waiting for all audits to be conducted. And they will be asked the total of allegations in the year since the last audit, updating the data on allegations from 1950 to 2002 reported in February.

The bishops' office said a final report and details on each diocese would be finished by February and released publicly.

Some bishops questioned conducting an annual audit for 2004 but a June meeting of the full U.S. hierarchy decided to proceed.

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