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A history of well-publicized events of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have led to much soul-searching in recent years, resulting in new and improved risk-management guidelines and procedures to protect children and youth.

These changes, according to recent studies, have lowered injuries as well as claims.

The 2010 annual report from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states that in 2009, there was a 36 percent decline from 2008 in allegations of abuse involving Catholic dioceses clergy.

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