The Vatican responded to the worldwide clerical abuse scandal with new rules that crack down on priests who prey on children and the mentally disabled today.
They extend from 10 to 20 years the statute of limitations on abuse and also codify for the first time that possessing or distributing child pornography is a canonical crime.
However, the document issued today did not discuss the need for bishops to report abuse to police or include any “one-strike and you’re out” policy, as demanded by victims’ groups.
It also lists the attempted ordination of a woman as a “grave crime”, as sex abuse is.
Critics have complained that including both in the same document implied equating them.