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VATICAN CITY (AP) _ The Vatican has rejected some elements of the U.S. Catholic Church's new sex abuse policy and cautioned the American bishops from going ahead with them, Church sources familiar with the response said Thursday.

In particular, the Vatican expressed concern over the proposed policy that would violate the individual rights of accused clerics now protected under universal church law, the sources said.

The response will be made public Friday, a day after top American prelates met with Pope John Paul II to discuss the scandal that has rocked the American Church.

All along, Vatican officials and U.S. church lawyers have raised objections to the proposals, arguing that they may violate the due process rights of priests.

However, Vatican officials and top U.S. churchmen had said they expected the Vatican would go along anyway, on a trial basis.

The sources stressed that the entire plan has not been rejected, and that it could be a work in progress to satisfy the various objections.