Pope extend law to fight sexual abuse in church
The Head of Catholic Church Pope Francis on Saturday extended the 2019 law to fight sexual abuse in the Church by making lay Catholic leaders responsible for acts committed under their watch in Vatican-approved bodies.
The pontiff, in a statement on Saturday, explained that vulnerable adults can be victims of predator priests — adding the vulnerability clause.
It was also gathered that the earlier version had only spoken of minors and vulnerable persons.
“The updated text specifies that ‘the lay faithful who are or have been moderators of international associations of the faithful recognized or created by the Holy See (are responsible) for acts committed’ while they were in office”, the Vatican said in a statement.
The new law will come to effect on April 30.
“The document includes, and continues to include, not only abuse and violence against children and vulnerable adults, but also covers sexual violence and harassment resulting from the abuse of authority,” the Vatican said.
It was said that from Ireland to Germany and the United States, curtailing the scandals of child sex abuse by Catholic priests has been one of the biggest challenges for the pope.
It did not go as expected at the beginning, with a 2014 commission on protecting minors undermined by the resignations of two key members, while in 2018, his defence of a Chilean priest allergy of covering up abuse ignited adverse reaction.
The pope created a commission on protecting minors that was later joined the Curia.
It was said to have held an exceptional summit in 2019, which heard from victims and he promised an “all-out battle” against clerical abuse.
It was also said that the opening up Vatican archives to the lay courts to making it compulsory to report suspicions of abuse and any attempts to cover it up to Church authorities encountered substantial challenges
However, anything said in the confessional box remains valid.