Pope Francis Abolishes Rule That Protects Pedophiles in the Catholic Church
The law change was announced announced in the wake of an ever-growing number of investigations on sexual assault in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis abolished the Vatican’s “pontifical secrecy” rule for sex abuse cases, which many claim helps protect pedophiles in the Catholic Church.
The new law explained that the use of the Vatican’s highest level of secrecy no longer applies to abuse-related accusations. It removes excuses used by church members to not share information or cooperate with authorities, and also allows victims to be updated about their cases.
Pope Francis announced the law on Tuesday in the wake of an ever-growing number of investigations on sexual assault in the Catholic Church. Its secrecy was also called into question during the Vatican summit in February, which focused on combating sexual abuse.
"At the end of February at the Vatican, on the fringes of the crisis summit on abuse, the international alliance of survivors and activists Ending Clergy Abuse made this demand. The decision of the Vatican is therefore an overdue step," Mattias Katsch, an abuse survivor and the founder of Ending Clergy Abuse told CNN. “Now it is important that further steps are taken towards transparency -- also with regard to the thousands of acts of abuse cases stored in Vatican chambers and palaces. These files must be made available for independent review and investigation.”
The Pope also raised the age limit on who is considered a child from 14 to 18 when it comes to child pornography. That means, come January 2020, that possession of pornography of children under 18 is a crime under Vatican law.