Pope Francis signed into the Code of Canon Law a long-awaited clause that deals directly with clerical sex abuse without actually mentioning it by name. The new revision, the pontiff said, is for the “restoration of justice, the reform of the offender, and the repair of scandal” and deals specifically with the 6th Commandment, which prohibits adultery. Under the new regulations, a priest will be defrocked and face other penalties if he commits sexual offenses with a minor. The revision also prohibits priests from “grooming” minors or to “expose himself or herself pornographically or to take part in pornographic exhibitions.” Survivors of clerical sex abuse and their families have long pushed for revisions to Canon Law, under which the Holy See operates.
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