PORTLAND, Maine — Maine joined three other New England states on Thursday in starting a confidential reporting system for those abused within the Catholic Church.

"Over the past 20 years, much has been accomplished in addressing the clergy sexual abuse crisis. In the Diocese of Portland, this has included mandatory background checks, protection and prevention training, and a diocesan review board comprised mostly of laypeople," the Diocese of Portland wrote.

Anyone who wants to report abuse by a bishop or church representative can make a phone call or visit the diocese website, with the option to remain anonymous.

The new system is a result of Pope Francis' call for new procedures in handling crimes by bishops back in May.

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In Portland, sexual abuse of a minor is asked to be reported both to civil authorities and Michael Magalski, director of the Diocese of Portland's Office of Professional Responsibility at (207) 321-7836

All other possible violations can be reported online at www.redflagreporting.com, or by phone at 1-877-647-3335.

"The new third-party system will ensure that there is an effective, independent system in place to report misconduct by bishops as well," the Diocese of Portland wrote.

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