New laws to combat sexual abuse within the Catholic Church

New laws were introduced on Thursday by Pope Francis in a direct response to increasing reports of sex abuse within the Catholic Church. 

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
New laws to combat sexual abuse within the Catholic Church - NewsMavens
Pope Francis I, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

In a Vatican first, new laws just signed by Pope Francis, will require all members of the Catholic Church, including priests, nuns and other clerics to “promptly” report cases of sex abuse to authorities within the Church in new “concrete and effective actions” that hope to prevent abuse within the Church in the future.  

The laws include specifics such as: this will apply to abuse against both children and adults; a confidential means of reporting incidences will be required in all dioceses; and individual members of the church suspected of possessing child pornography, or covering up abuse should also be reported.

Alongside the announcement, Pope Francis said, "The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. Even if so much has already been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future."

The new laws come after long heard demands from victims, support and advocacy groups. Despite the progress, it does not go as far as they had hoped, failing to call for the immediate removal of offending individuals and failing to require abuse revealed during confessionals to be documented.  

Details from the story:

  • Complaints and allegations will also be received directly to the Vatican if necessary.
  • Both medical and physiological assistance and support should be provided to the victims.
  • The new laws were signed on Thursday.
  • They are in response to increasing reports of sex-abuse across the world from within the Catholic Church.
  • The move has been praised by members of the church and community, with some churches already moving to implement the necessary procedures. 
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];