Pope Francis Lays Down The Law On Child Sex Abuse On Vatican Grounds

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Pope_Francis_in_March_2013Rome (CNN) — Pope Francis has laid down a law making it a crime to abuse children sexually or physically on Vatican grounds, the Holy See announced Thursday.

The acts were already crimes under church law, but are now specifically outlawed within the Vatican city-state, which is home to hundreds of people.

The legislation also covers child prostitution and the creation or possession of child pornography.

But it has a “broader scope,” according to Radio Vatican.

It adds provisions of international laws against war crimes, racial discrimination and humiliating treatment or punishment to the Vatican’s legal system.

It includes wording from the Geneva Conventions.

Francis issued the new laws as a “moto proprio,” meaning that the document was his own initiative, Vatican Radio said.

The new criminal laws are part of an ongoing update of the Vatican’s legal system, which began under Pope Benedict.

In April: Pope tells Vatican to ‘act decisively’ sex abuse cases

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1 Comment

  • Judy Jones

    Proclaiming and enforcing these rules within the tiny country called the Vatican is not going to solve the worldwide problem of Catholic clergy from committing and concealing child sex crimes . These Vatican rules are not going to stop bishops and cardinals from enabling, and covering up sex crimes against innocent children. The Pope needs to punish those who sexually abuse children and those who cover up their crimes, "period". Not just within the Vatican walls.

    The sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy is still going on to this day. Their so called "child protection policy" is not being followed by the bishops who created it. They don't have to, because there is no punishment if they don't. They work harder to protect their image, their power, their money, and the institution— rather than caring about the victims or protecting innocent children. There are many of these bishops and cardinals who need to be held accountable and spend time behind bars. Until that happens, nothing will change and children are still not safe within this secretive archaic system.

    Sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day, so silence is not an options anymore, it only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511.
    "SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)