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Vatican receives 600 abuse cases a year: Prosecutor

Published on Feb 6, 2013 5:51 AM
Father Robert Oliver, the Vatican's new Promoter of Justice, attends a news conference at the Pontificial Gregorian University in Rome on Feb 5, 2013. Father Oliver was presenting the publication of the acts of a major symposium in Rome in 2012 on how the Roman Catholic Church can better protect children from sexual abuse by members of the clergy. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican's new chief prosecutor against clerical child abuse on Tuesday said his office was receiving around 600 new cases a year, many of them dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Father Robert Oliver, a canon law specialist who previously worked at the archdiocese of Boston in the United States (US) where abuse cases came to light a decade ago, was appointed in December.

Fr Oliver, whose official title is "promoter of justice" for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the peak in reported cases was in 2004 with 800 denunciations.

He said he would follow the example of Pope Benedict XVI in calling for more assistance to victims of abuse and promising zero tolerance against abusers.

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