Vatican city: Pope Francis issued new laws for the Catholic Church on Thursday, mandating that all priests and nuns report sexual abuse and cover-ups to church authorities.
The new rules require all Catholic dioceses around the world to have a “public and accessible” system in place for reporting abuse by June 1, 2020. Furthermore, investigations into credible reports of sexual abuse must be completed within 90 days, reported CNN.
However, the norms do not require the priest and nuns to report to the police. Additionally, they do not deal with the question of what happens to a priest or bishop who breaks these rules.
This has come after a series of shocking revelations about sexual abuse of minors at the hands of clergymen that rattled the world last year. Although, for decades, the Catholic church has been plagued by sexual abuse scandals in different countries around the world.
To date, no church official has been publicly sanctioned for a cover-up, and a lack of accountability is something that survivors have been concerned about for years.
The new norms follow a global meeting on the issue at the Vatican in February. 290 Catholic leaders from around the world had congregated for the summit where Pope Francis had pledged to offer “concrete measures” to combat sexual abuse.