Bishops pressed to keep child safety plan intact

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BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) -- The head of child protection for the nation's Roman Catholic bishops is asking church leaders to make only minor changes in their national abuse prevention plan.

Bishop Blase Cupich (BLAYZ SOO'-pitch) of Spokane, Washington, made a brief presentation Wednesday at the opening of the bishops' midyear meeting in Bellevue, Washington. Church leaders later plan to hold a private, four-hour debate on the policy, then vote on Thursday.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the child protection document in 2002 at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal. The plan includes a promise to remove all guilty clergy from public ministry and help victims.

The policy is under renewed scrutiny following recent revelations that bishops in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Missouri, failed to remove some accused priests.