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Be honest and open.

THE Archbishop of Birmingham says that the Roman Catholic church still has much to learn about dealing with child abuse.

But surely he knows that the basic lesson is simple: protect the kids.

We are talking about children who may be scarred for life by adults who have betrayed a sacred trust in order to satisfy their cruel and perverted appetites.

Lesson number two is that when something nasty happens the church must be absolutely open and honest.

But today yet another case of a priest hastily sent away brings with it a suspicion of cover-up.

The church's reaction is always to cry 'foul' and blame the journalists.

But shooting the messenger and trying to hide away dirty secrets is no answer.

The church must take responsibility and confront the painful question of just why a worrying number of its priests are involved in despicable abuse.
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2003
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