Pope ends ‘secrecy’ rule on child sexual abuse in Catholic church

Source: The Guardian

Pope Francis has announced sweeping changes to the way the Roman Catholic church deals with cases of sexual abuse of children, abolishing the rule of pontifical secrecy that previously covered them.

Two documents issued by the pope back practices that have been in place in some countries, particularly the US, such as reporting suspicion of sexual abuse to civil authorities where required by law.

The documents, which put the practices into universal church law, also forbid imposing an obligation of silence on those who report sexual abuse or allege they have been a victim.

“This is an epochal decision,” Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican’s most experienced sexual abuse investigator, told Vatican Radio.

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