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New Vatican Criminal Code Includes Punishment for Sexual Abuse

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Jun,2021

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Pope Francis on Tuesday issued revisions to the Catholic Church’s criminal code, including punishments for priests and others who use “force, threats or abuse of his authority” to engage in sexual acts.
 
Priests who commit such offenses against minors or adults can be defrocked, while laypeople face losing their jobs or paying fines.
 
The revisions state that bishops and other superiors can be held responsible for failing to properly investigate and sanction priests.
 
A new provision also criminalizes the act of priests “grooming” or inducing a minor to engage in pornography.
 
The changes come after 14 years of study and as the Catholic Church continues to reckon with reports of decades of sexual assault and abuse by priests. 


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