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Outlawing Adults Sexual Abuse by Priests

Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority and to say that laypeople who hold church office can be sanctioned for similar sex crimes. The law also removes much of the discretion that had long allowed bishops and religious superiors to ignore or cover-up abuse, making clear they can be held responsible for omissions and negligence in failing to properly investigate and sanction errant priests. The Vatican also criminalized the “grooming” of minors or vulnerable adults by priests to compel them to engage in pornography. It’s the first time church law has officially recognized as criminal the method used by sexual predators to build relationships with their victims to then sexually exploit them. Do you feel like churches are nowadays being used for exploits?

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