Pope Francis on Friday issued new directives to prevent child sexual abuse within the Vatican City State, as had been promised after February’s anti-abuse summit.
The pontiff released three documents in total: a “motu proprio” apostolic letter, plus a law and guidelines covering the territory of the Vatican, the world’s smallest nation.
The package, valid from June 1, introduces the legal obligation for all Vatican officials to report suspected cases of abuse, except for information covered by the seal of confession.
It foresees the appointment of a “contact person” within the Vatican’s administration, tasked with implementing child sex abuse prevention policies and looking after victims.
Victims must be kept informed about the investigations of their case, offered “medical and psychological care,’’ legal advice, and protected from their suspected abusers, the guidelines say.
They also include a series of instructions for Vatican staff, who deal with children, including a ban on corporal punishment and on the taking of pictures or videos unauthorised by parents.
Other prescriptions are: no sharing of secrets with minors; remain always visible to others when liaising with them; and no gifts or special treatment for any particular child being supervised.
The rules concern abuses committed on Vatican soil or by Vatican citizens or residents – a community of around 800 people which includes about 300 Vatican diplomats posted around the world.
They state that anyone guilty of child sexual abuse must be removed from office, but also offered “spiritual and psychological” help to support “their reintegration into society.”
Hardly any children are Vatican residents. But Friday’s laws can apply to minors, who regularly enter Vatican walls, such as the 35 boys aged 9-13 who are part of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
The Vatican had long recommended national Catholic Church organisations to draft guidelines for the protection of minors, but had until now failed to adopt them for its own internal jurisdiction.
The Catholic Church is in turmoil worldwide over widespread reports of clerical child abuse, and the Vatican has repeatedly pledged to clean up its own house.
In February, Francis told a crisis summit of church leaders from around the world that the church would stop covering up the crimes of paedophile priests “as was usual in the past.”
A’Ibom Govt Writes UK High Commissioner, Faults Travel Alert
The Akwa Ibom State Government has reacted to the recent UK travel ban on its citizens to 21 states including...
Do Not Expect Debt Relief, U.S. Warns Africa
The U.S. top Africa diplomat, Tibor Nagy, warned in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday that African countries running up debt...
Nigeria, Not A Fragile State — World Bank
The World Bank Group on addressing Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) has said that Nigeria is not a fragile state...
Abia Honours 6 2015/2016 NYSC Presidential Award Winners
The Abia state government has honoured six members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from the state that won...
Obaseki Deploys Officials To Assist Victims Of Flooding
…assures more drainage projects underway Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has deployed the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Yakubu...
Woman Arrested For Posing As Sanwo-Olu’s Aide In Italian Embassy
A middle aged woman has been arrested in Lagos for posing as Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s aide to...
NASS Leadership: PDP Moves To Enforce Party Supremacy Among Lawmakers
***Former Senate President, Wabara, Heads PDP’s Probe Committee The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has begun moves to ensure that its...
NEWS6 hours ago
Gov Fintiri Sacks LG Staff Employed from April 2016 To Date
COVER STORIES21 hours ago
Anti-graft Hammer Falls On Power Sector As Court Jails Ex-MD, 4 Others
NEWS22 hours ago
… Arrest Notorious Bandit, 20 Others In Katsina
LAW11 hours ago
Tribunal Dismisses Atiku, PDP Application To Inspect INEC Server
NEWS9 hours ago
Do Away With Some Persons, APC Stakeholders Charge PMB
NEWS6 hours ago
INEC Server: Stop Heating Up Nigeria’s Polity, NANS Tell Atiku
NEWS23 hours ago
Tinubu Not Against Ambode’s Appointment As Minister – BOHM Boss
COVER STORIES21 hours ago
Lawmakers Oppose Elongation Of NASS Workers’ Service Years