BY Ian Dunn | July 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-POPE-GEN-AUDIENCE

Holy Father overhauls Vatican laws on abuse penalties, information leaks and sentencing

Pope Francis has overhauled the laws that govern life in the Vatican, with new rules that include harsher penalties for child abuse, the abolition of life sentences and the criminalisation of leaks.

In a Moto Proprio released this morning, the Holy Father (above) said the reforms would bring the Vatican into line with international treaties.

“In our times, the common good is increasingly threatened by transnational organised crime, the improper use of the markets and of the economy, as well as by terrorism,” the Pope said. “It is therefore necessary for the international community to adopt adequate legal instruments to prevent and counter criminal activities, by promoting international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

“In ratifying numerous international conventions in these areas, and acting also on behalf of Vatican City State, the Holy See has constantly maintained that such agreements are effective means to prevent criminal activities that threaten human dignity, the common good and peace.”

In an accompanying statement, the Vatican said that the Pope’s decree included ‘a broader definition of the category of crimes against minors’ including child prostitution, sexual acts with children and child pornography.

Another change is that that life imprisonment is to be banned and replaced with a maximum sentence of 35 years.

In addition, a new crime has been introduced that will specifically penalise anyone who leaks confidential Vatican documents, following the recent ‘Vatileaks’ problems.

Anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation risks six months to two years in prison and a £2000 fine the penalty goes up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the ‘fundamental interests’ of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations with other countries.

“While many of the specific criminal offences included in these laws are undeniably new, it would however be incorrect to assume that the forms of conduct thereby sanctioned were previously licit,” Mgr Dominique Mamberti, who is in charge of relations between the Holy See and other states, said. “These were indeed punished, but as broader, more generic forms of criminal activity.”

The new norms also introduce the administrative responsibility of Vatican departments that could help ensure less corruption within the Vatican.

The Pope’s reform ‘extends the reach of the legislation contained in these criminal laws to the members, officials and employees of the various bodies of the Roman Curia,’ the central body of the Catholic Church, Mgr Mamberti said.

The laws will come into force on September 1.

 

—ian@sconews.co.uk

 

 

Leave a Reply

latest news

Middle East without Christians is unthinkable

October 21st, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Holy Father expresses concerns at opening of consistory of cardinal...


Pope Francis Beatifies founder of synod of bishops

October 20th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Extraordinary synod on the family ends with Pope Paul VI—...


Plans to reserve Catholic school places for Baptised children given support

October 17th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

A consultation by Falkirk Council finds the majority of respondents...


Outcry as high court rejects Asia Bibi’s appeal in Pakistan

October 17th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Pakistani Christian mother in jail for four years under Pakistan’s...




Social media

Latest edition

P1 OCT 17, 2014

exclusively in the paper

  • Mission Matters Scotland makes Mission Sunday appeal.
  • Thanksgiving Mass at St Paul’s, Muirhouse.
  • SCIAF appeal over Ebola crisis plus report on how SCIAF Director Alistair Dutton is settling into new role.
  • Strong in faith: Young Catholics on the extraordinary synod on the family. Have your say on the subject at facebook.com/scostrong
    infaith

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO