AP: Vatican issues new sex abuse norms after crisis

The Vatican issued a new set of norms Thursday to respond to the worldwide clerical abuse scandal, cracking down on priests who rape and molest minors and the mentally disabled.

The norms extend from 10 to 20 years the statute of limitations on priestly abuse and also codify for the first time that possessing or distributing child pornography is a canonical crime.

But the document made no mention of the need for bishops to report abuse to police and doesn’t include any “one-strike and you’re out” policy as demanded by some victims’ groups.

The document also listed the attempted ordination of a woman as a “grave crime” to be handled by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, just as sex abuse is. Critics have complained that including both in the same document implied equating them.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

3 comments on “AP: Vatican issues new sex abuse norms after crisis

  1. Jackson says:

    The New York Times article is insightful and depressing. http://tiny.cc/9evmu
    Why the need to muddy this up with woman’s ordination is beyond me. Such a distraction. So sad.

  2. Jon says:

    The link provided in #1 does not work.

  3. Ralph says:

    The English news media are playing up one part of the document only passingly mentioned in the above article:

    “One new element included lists the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime” subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse.”


    Given the widespread acceptance of female priests in the CoE, this should generate some interesting debates. The timing of that part of the new “set of norms” with the recent CoE synod in York is most unfortunate. Perhaps, a coincidence.