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Ohio Lists New Rules for Priests

Crackdown on Tickling: Will Rules For Priests Stop Abuse?

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has released the most comprehensive list of rules to date addressing behavior between priests and children. Among other changes is the requirement of those who have contact with kids to get background checks. Victim advocates support the new rules but realize they're not a panacea. Specific rules also address conduct and communication through touch.

On the list of appropriate touches: side hugs, pats on the head, holding hands during prayers. Inappropriate moves include bear hugs, kissing, lap-sitting, and tickling.

The sexual abuse scandals have haunted the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI has been including apology outreach as part of nearly every official trip, from Boston to Australia.

The new rules are similar to those teachers already have to abide by, with rising teacher/student scandals causing states to crackdown as well. Should religious figures be considered in the same realm as secular adult/child relationships? Will outlining what's appropriate stop abuse, or is it just a bunch of words?


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