The Catholic church continues to amaze me. Readers might at first experience pink, fuzzy, hopeful thoughts on seeing this in the news today:
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City State on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.
Swell, huh? But then you read a little further and come upon this:
It was issued at a critical time, as the Vatican gears up for a grilling by a U.N. committee on its efforts to protect children under a key U.N. convention and prevent priests from sexually abusing them. The Vatican signed and ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 yet only now — 23 years later — has it updated its legislation to reflect some of the treaty's core provisions.
So this law was enacted under pressure and it only took 23 years for a pope to pipe up and say something about protecting kids. Oh, and the law only covers priests and lay people who work or live in Vatican City. For Catholic priests stationed all around the world, it's business as usual.
That's quite a religion they've got there.