Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats, making good on a promise he made during the landmark bishops’ meeting on sexual abuse last month.
The new laws require the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, and while their application is limited geographically, the policy shift is intended to serve as a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.
The mandatory reporting provision of the legislation marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.
Francis also issued child protection guidelines for the Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.
The child protection laws have been in the works for some time, preceding the February summit called by the pope, notes CBS News producer Anna Matranga in Rome.