Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Pope bolsters Vatican child abuse laws

11 July 2013, 15:54

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Thursday bolstered criminal legislation against child abuse in the Vatican and increased criminal liability for employees of the tiny city state in a legislative overhaul.

The Vatican said in a statement 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.

The new laws are part of an introduction of forms of crime indicated in international conventions that the Vatican has already ratified including against racism and war crimes and on children's rights.

"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," said Monsignor Dominique Mamberti, who is in charge of relations between the Holy See and other states.

"These were indeed punished, but as broader, more generic forms of criminal activity," it added.

Francis also increased co-operation with other states against money laundering and terrorism in a continuation of reforms begun by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, to get the Vatican in line with international legislation.

'Dated' provisions

The new norms also introduce the administrative responsibility of Vatican departments - a potentially radical change that would complement his plans to root out corruption from the scandal-ridden Vatican bureaucracy.

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, Mamberti said.

"This extension has the aim of making the crimes included in these laws indictable by the judicial organs of Vatican City State even when committed outside the borders of the state," he said.

The laws will come into force on 1 September.

The Vatican explained some of the provisions in its criminal code were "rather dated". Among the novelties is that life imprisonment will be outlawed and replaced with a maximum sentence of 35 years.

There was also a direct consequence of the "Vatileaks" scandal last year when Benedict's butler Paolo Gabriele published confidential documents from Vatican offices alleging widespread corruption and mismanagement.

Punishment will be increased for anyone stealing secret papers.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...