Pope Francis has introduced a new legislation that requires immediate reporting of sexual abuse within the Vatican and any other Holy See institution in Rome and diplomatic corps around the world, following the crisis summit held last month, by senior Bishops from around the world.
The new legislation came into effect on Friday. The legislation was introduced following the recent series of widespread claims of child sexual abuse and the cover ups within the Roman Catholic Church.
Previous church guidelines about how to handle sexual abuse claims did not cover officials and employees in Vatican City or the Curia.
The new legislation requires that any allegation of abuse is reported immediately. If the abuse is not reported immediately then the penalty would be a fine or a prison sentence. Under the new legislation anyone convicted of abuse must be removed from office. The statute of limitations has now been extended to 20 years from the date the victim reaches 18 years of age.
Increased training will be mandatory for staff on how to prevent abuse. There will also be a support service set up to provide medical; psychological and social support to the victims and their families.
Pope Francis has called for an
“all out battle against child sex abuse.”
He has said that
“it was the duty of everyone to generously welcome children and vulnerable persons, and to create a safe environment for them.”
Pope Francis stated that the
“Church would stop covering up the crimes of paedophile priests as was usual in the past.”
In 2013, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, was charged with paying boys for sex. He was recalled and jailed in the Vatican but died in 2015 before his trial. Cardinal George Pell, was jailed this month for six years for abusing boys in his native Australia. The Archbishop of Lyon was also convicted this year in France for failing to report abuse.
Victims of abuse by the church have said the conference was “merely a restatement of old promises.”
If you have been a victim of abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094 or you can request a call back.