Pope expands laws against sexual abuse in Catholic Church

Sun, 26 Mar 2023 8:21 GMT
Move proves Vatican's desire to continue to combat crimes of sexual abuse, says Vatican News.
Pope expands laws against sexual abuse in Catholic Church

Pope Francis expanded the law against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s official news agency reported Saturday.

After four years of experimentation and extensive consultation with bishops and the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, Francis broadcasted procedures “to prevent and counter sexual abuse within the Catholic Church,” said Vatican News, noting that it proves the Vatican’s desire to continue to combat crimes of sexual abuse.

The law is now expanded to cover leaders of Vatican-approved associations headed by lay leaders, not just clerics.

The lay faithful who are or have been moderators of international associations of the faithful recognized or created by the Vatican are responsible for acts committed while they were in office, it said.

One notable modification regards the inclusion of "vulnerable" adults in the normative text, said the agency, noting that another change concerns the protection of the person who submits a report of the alleged abuse.

The protection has now been extended to "the person who claims to have been offended and those who were witnesses."

Vatican News said the text strengthens calls to safeguard "the legitimate protection of the good name and privacy of all persons involved,” and presumption of innocence for those who are under investigation during the period in which determinations of responsibility are underway.


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