Vatican issues new universal laws on sexual abuse

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta speaks at a news conference presenting Pope Francis' new document, "Vos estis lux mundi" ("You are the light of the world") at the Vatican May 9, 2019. The document, which goes into effect June 1, establishes and clarifies norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse. (CNS Photo/Robert Duncan) 

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I explain why the papal almoner climbed down a manhole this weekend to illegally restore electricity to 450 homeless people squatting in a building in Rome. We also explain who the papal almoner is, and how the job has changed under Pope Francis.

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Last week, the pope met with the group of women religious who first asked him about ordaining women to the diaconate in 2016. We talk through what he told them, then take a step back to consider how things have changed for women religious at the Vatican in recent years.

Finally, the Vatican issued new universal guidelines on how to handle sexual abuse. Included in the new laws are mandatory reporting requirements for all priests and religious, and new provisions for holding bishops accountable for abuse and cover up. Gerry and I talk through some of the key points and what to expect next.

Next week, we’ll be raffling off one copy of Gerry’s book, “The Election of Pope Francis: An Inside Account of the Conclave that Changed History.” You can enter to win by leaving a review of “Inside the Vatican” on iTunes. Then, email us at insidethevatican@americamedia.org and tell us what name you used to leave your review.

Links from the show:

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[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.]

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