Pope Ends pontifical secrecy rule over sex abuse

Pope Ends pontifical secrecy rule over sex abuse

Pope Francis has abolished a Vatican rule which forbade anyone who reported they had been sexually abused by a priest from talking about it.

The rule, known as pontifical secrecy, is also lifted for those who testify in a Vatican trial over clerical sexual abuse.

Church leaders called for the rule’s abolition at a February Vatican summit.

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Information in abuse cases should still be treated with “security, integrity and confidentiality”, the Pope said.

He also instructed Vatican officials to comply with civil laws, while maintaining confidentiality, and assist the civil judicial authorities in investigating such cases.

The Pope has also changed the Vatican’s definition of child pornography, increasing the age of the subject from 14 or under to 18 or under.

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