March 29, 2019
By Danielle Wallace
Pope Francis announced Friday a new mandatory reporting provision in the Vatican that requires all personnel and Holy See diplomats to report allegations of abuse “without delay” or risk facing fines or jail time.
Francis also implemented child protection measures for Vatican City State and its youth seminary in order to protect minors from predatory priests. The new legislation for the first time explicitly defines “vulnerable people” who would receive the same protections from the church as children.
Vatican public officials must report allegations of abuse to Vatican prosecutors in a timely manner to avoid being fined up to $5,615. Members of the Vatican police and security force who don’t report sex crimes could serve a jail sentence.
The Vatican defines a “vulnerable person” as an individual impaired by a physical or psychiatric deficiency, unable to exercise personal freedom and unable to understand or resist the crime. The city state added protections for “vulnerable adults” in the past but never gave a legal definition of the term.
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