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Vatican Posts Sex Abuse Policy on Web

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Italian policemen leave St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on March 25, 2010 after removing US citizens taking part in a demonstration against child sexual abuse.

The Vatican made public today its guidelines for bishops and other top clergy who encounter sex abuse in the church: that the clergy report the abuse to the police.

The Associated Press reports that the Vatican posted the policy on its Web site today. It reads: "Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed."

The AP reports that this policy was not in a draft of guidelines it had obtained from the Vatican last week.