New Vatican law criminalizes sexual abuse by priests and church officials

Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority and to say that laypeople who hold church office can be sanctioned for similar sex crimes.

The new provisions, released Tuesday after 14 years of study, were contained in the revised criminal law section of the Vatican’s Code of Canon Law, the in-house legal system that covers the 1.3-billion strong Catholic Church.

The most significant changes are contained in two articles, 1395 and 1398, which aim to address major problems and shortcomings in the church’s handling of sexual abuse. The law recognizes that adults, too, can be victimized by priests who abuse their authority, and said that laypeople in church offices can be punished for abusing minors as well as adults.

See the original story here.


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  • Mark Belenchia
    commented 2021-06-01 17:18:10 -0500
    14 years to study… That says it ALL. A broken corrupt system from the top down… pathetic!! How does anyone still believe in this institution?
  • Alexandra White
    published this page in News Story of the Day 2021-06-01 13:00:27 -0500

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