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Pope mandates reporting of sex abuse claims in Vatican City

By The News · 01 of April 2019 04:29:52
AP Photo,, No available, Pope Francis attends an audience with participants of a course on the Internal Forum promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary Court, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats overseas, requiring the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision of the legislation published Friday marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to civil authorities or face fines and possible jail time.

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.