Pope Francis updates legislation, criminalizes intelligence leaks and sexual crimes

Johannesburg, July 12 (ANI): Pope Francis reportedly updated the laws of Vatican City and criminalized leaks of Vatican information and sexual crimes including possession of child pornography.

According to News24, Pope Francis specifically listed sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.

The Vatican signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 but only 23 years later has it updated its legislation to reflect some of the treaty's core provisions.

Revision to laws related to intelligence leaks state that anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation will be sentenced six months to two year imprisonment along with 2,000 euros fine.

The penalty for leaking information can go up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the 'fundamental interests' of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations.

The punishment for sexual crimes against children go from five to 10 years imprisonment, with aggravating circumstances bringing the maximum up to 12 years and a fine of 1,50,000 euros.

Vatican officials said that 100 years ago, child pornography was not specified as a crime in either the Italian legal code or the Vatican's.

The Vatican foreign minister, Monsignor Dominique Mamberti, said that the new regulation is useful to define the specific cases with greater certainty and precisions, and to thus satisfy the international parameters, calibrating the sanctions to the specific gravity of the case, the report added. (ANI)

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