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German Catholic Church sets up new research group on sexual abuse scandal


BERLIN — Germany's Roman Catholic Church says it has set up a new research project to investigate sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

Bishop Stephan Ackermann said Monday an interdisciplinary group from different German universities would try to bring more transparency into the issue for both the victims and the public.

The group will collect and analyze data from past decades about the frequency of sexual abuse. The study, being conducted over the next 3 ½ years, will also focus on how church officials dealt with abuse accusations. It is part of an effort to address the international scandal triggered by revelations of abuse in Germany in 2010.

An earlier investigation into the abuse was called off by the church in 2013 over disagreements with the institute that led the study.

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