Vatican addresses church sex abuse scandals with new law

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A groundbreaking new law out of the Vatican seeks to address sex abuse within the church and establish a safe and streamlined system for reports to be made.

Pope Francis issued a mandate that all dioceses worldwide set up a "public and accessible" system for reporting sex abuse.

It’s the latest effort by the pope to address sex abuse scandals that have plagued the church. It comes on the heels of a February summit at the Vatican to discuss the problem.

The law requires all Catholic priests and nuns across around the world to report clergy sex abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities. It also provides protection to whistleblowers and outlines procedures for investigations of religious superiors.

The law does not require the church to report these accusations to law enforcement.

One thing the pope did not specify is what happens to church officials who fail to comply.

Dioceses across the world have a year to put systems in place to report abuse. Once that report is made to the Vatican, the Vatican has 30 days to respond as to whether or not an investigation will get underway.

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