Pope Strengthens Criminal Code in Canon Law

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By Catholic World News, June 01, 2021

Pope Francis has issued an apostolic constitution, Pascite Gregem Dei, reforming the section of canon law that deals with individual crimes.

The June 1 document substantially revises Book VI of the Code of Canon Law, and requires bishops and religious superiors to take action when crimes are committed—rather than giving them the option of taking disciplinary action.

Among the crimes listed in the revised Book VI are the sexual abuse of vulnerable adults and the “grooming” of minors. These crimes are explicitly defined, in an obvious effort to eliminate uncertainties about when the Church’s criminal law should be invoked. …

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