- Mar 29, 2020
In real life, my experience is that many Catholics recognize the competing values at stake and don’t envy bishops who have to make virtually unprecedented judgment calls.
Pope Francis updated the laws that govern the Vatican judicial system in an effort to establish greater transparency and independence, particularly in financial and criminal matters.
The 12-year process of updating the Code of Canon Law section dealing with crimes and penalties was necessary “to make it more organic and responsive to new situations and problems,” Pope Francis said.
Like American law, victims of clerical sexual abuse are not parties to criminal procedures, but could that change?
Despite Pope Francis’s decision on Tuesday to abolish pontifical secrecy in cases of abuse, experts have said the secret is still relevant, and serves the needs of confidentiality in several other areas of the Church.
Pope Francis issued two legal documents Tuesday, one loosening the degree of secrecy that applies to clerical abuse cases and the other raising the age for what constitutes child pornography to 18 and permitting lay people to act as advocates in abuse cases.