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Despite the problems, Scicluna says he considers an 80 percent response rate a “success story” that should be shared beyond the church, citing the recent sex abuse scandals at the BBC and the Boy Scouts of America as evidence that the problem isn’t the church’s alone.

He acknowledged, though, that the key is now for church leaders to implement the guidelines they have established.

“This is not ‘mission accomplished,’” Scicluna said. “This is a growing challenge for the church, because sin will always be with us and also crime. And if we lower our guard, we are not being stewards.”