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Pope Francis’ canon law revisions to criminalise sexual exploitation

Pope Francis has widened the Catholic Church’s definition of sexual abuse, revising its penal code to criminalise the sexual exploitation of adults.

The new rules cover the victimisation of adults and children by priests as well as powerful laypeople.

The guidelines will also remove the discretion afforded to church leaders which previously allowed offenders to avoid accountability.

The failure to investigate and punish offending priests will now have consequences from December 2021 when the new revisions are introduced.

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