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Sex abuse crackdown

The Vatican has told bishops they will have to take more responsibility to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests.

It also said in a statement issued after a meeting of cardinals yesterday that it was preparing guidelines for bishops on how to deal with sexual abuse, including co-operation with local agencies.

Cardinals from around the world held a rare gathering to discuss child sex abuse. Cardinal William Levada, the American head of the doctrinal office headed by Pope Benedict before his election, spoke of "greater responsibility of bishops for the protection of faithful entrusted to them", the statement.

Abuse victims protested in Rome to coincide with the meeting.