Vatican Issues New Rules on Abusive Priests

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims on his arrival in St. Peter's square (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

The Vatican has unveiled new rules in response to cases of sexual abuse committed by clergy members.

According to the Associated Press, many of the rules re-affirm existing provisions within the Vatican, but there are also some significant additions, including a rule that would double the church's own statute of limitations for the victims of sexual abuse from 10 to 20 years.

The Vatican has also instituted harsher punishments for possession of child pornography, according to the AP.

But the New York Times reports that critics, including victims of sexual abuse, are not satisfied, citing a failure to clarify punishments for bishops and other church officials who don't report sexual abuse or attempt to conceal it.  

Others took issue with another rule that restates the Vatican's opposition to ordination of women; according to the AP, the new rule categorizes that as a "grave crime."

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