Pope Abolishes Rules Concerning the Secrecy of Child Abuse within the Church
Pope Francis has abolished a secrecy rule concerning child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. Papal secrecy covered employees within the church who were suspected of sexual abuse of minors.
As a result of the Pope’s decision, it is now mandatory for all church workers to report any suspicion of child abuse to the local police. Besides, no obligation to remain silent can be imposed on people who report sexual abuse or who may have fallen victim to it.
The contact with victims and the authorities are now much better. Many employees hid behind the confidentiality rules and therefore did not cooperate in investigations, “said Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, an essential investigator of abuse within the Vatican.
The document released by the Vatican also states that photos of children 18 years of age or younger are seen as child pornography. This was 14 years and younger for this. Last year, a priest was sentenced to five years in prison by the Vatican for possessing child pornography.
Today, the Archbishop in France, Luigi Ventura, resigned because he is suspected of child abuse. Previously his inviolability was withdrawn by the Vatican so that the archbishop could be heard by the French prosecutors.
France has started an investigation into the behaviour of Ventura, which in January, among others, allegedly harassed a younger employee of the Paris city hall. Ventura did not comment on the charge. The pope has accepted the resignation of 75-year-old Ventura.