The Vatican on March 29 announced the release of three documents: criminal laws for the Vatican city-state, guidelines for the vicariate the covers the two parishes within the Vatican, and a motu proprio applying these rules to members of the Roman Curia and to all members of the Vatican diplomatic corps.
The new rules apply only to the territory of Vatican City, where only a handful of children reside. But the legislation clearly sets high standards for handling abuse complaints. The documents emphasize the rights of victims, require officials to treat all complaints seriously and respond quickly, and commit the Vatican to providing support for victims.
The new regulations come a month after a Vatican “summit meeting” on sexual abuse, which brought together the leaders of all the world’s episcopal conferences. The editorial director of the Vatican’s communications dicastery, Andrea Tornielli, said that the Vatican’s norms now set a standard for proper handling of the matter.