Friday, March 29, 2019

Pope Francis issues Apostolic Letter on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons - FULL TEXT


APOSTOLIC LETTER
IN THE FORM OF "MOTU PROPRIO"

DEL SOMMO Pope Francis

ON THE PROTECTION OF MINORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS


The protection of minors and vulnerable persons is an integral part of the gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to spread throughout the world. In fact, Christ himself entrusted us with the care and protection of the smallest and most defenseless: "whoever welcomes one child like this in my name, welcomes me" (Mt 18: 5). Therefore, we all have the duty to generously welcome minors and vulnerable people and to create a safe environment for them, taking their interests first. This requires a continuous and profound conversion, in which personal holiness and moral commitment can contribute to promoting the credibility of the Gospel proclamation and to renewing the educational mission of the Church.

Therefore, I would like to further strengthen the institutional and regulatory framework to prevent and combat abuses against children and vulnerable people so that in the Roman Curia and in the Vatican City State:

- a community that is respectful and aware of the rights and needs of children and vulnerable persons is maintained, as well as being careful to prevent any form of physical or mental violence or abuse, neglect, neglect, abuse or exploitation that may occur both in the interpersonal relationships that in structures or places of sharing;

- everyone is aware of the duty to report abuses to the competent Authorities and to cooperate with them in prevention and contrast activities;

- any abuse or abuse against minors or against vulnerable persons is effectively prosecuted;

- the right to be received, listened to and accompanied is recognized to those who claim to have been victims of exploitation, sexual abuse or abuse, as well as their families;

- appropriate pastoral care is offered to victims and their families, as well as adequate spiritual, medical, psychological and legal support;

- the defendants are guaranteed the right to a fair and impartial trial, in compliance with the presumption of innocence, as well as the principles of legality and proportionality between the crime and the sentence;

- the person convicted for having abused a child or a vulnerable person is removed from his duties and, at the same time, he is offered adequate support for psychological and spiritual rehabilitation, also for the purpose of social reintegration;

- everything possible is done to rehabilitate the good reputation of those who have been wrongly accused;

- adequate training is provided for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons.

Therefore, with the present Letter I establish that:

1. The competent judicial organs of the Vatican City State exercise criminal jurisdiction also with regard to the crimes referred to in articles 1 and 3 of Law No. CCXCVII, on the protection of minors and vulnerable persons, committed on 26 March 2019, on the occasion of the exercise of their functions, by the subjects referred to in point 3 of the Motu Proprio «To our times», of 11 July 2013

2. Without prejudice to the sacramental seal, the subjects referred to in point 3 of the Motu Proprio "To our times", of 11 July 2013, are obliged to present, without delay, a complaint to the promoter of justice at the court of the State of the City of the Vatican whenever, in the exercise of their functions, they have news or reasonable reasons to believe that a child or a vulnerable person is a victim of one of the crimes referred to in Article 1 of Law No. CCXCVII, if also committed alternatively:

the. in the territory of the State;

ii. in prejudice of citizens or residents in the State;

iii. on the occasion of the exercise of their functions, by the public officials of the State or by the subjects referred to in point 3 of the Motu Proprio "To our times", of 11 July 2013.

3. Spiritual, medical and social assistance is offered to persons who have been abused by the crimes referred to in Article 1 of Law No. CCXCVII, including therapeutic and psychological urgency assistance, as well as useful information of a legal nature, through the Managed Accompanying Service by the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of the Governorate of the Vatican City State.

4. The Labor Office of the Apostolic See organizes, together with the Accompanying Service of the Directorate of Health and Hygiene, training programs for the personnel of the Roman Curia and of the Institutions connected with the Holy See concerning the risks in the matter of exploitation , of sexual abuse and mistreatment of children and vulnerable persons, as well as on the means to identify and prevent such offenses and the obligation to report.
5. In the selection and recruitment of personnel from the Roman Curia and institutions connected with the Holy See, as well as those who collaborate on a voluntary basis, the suitability of the candidate to interact with minors and vulnerable persons must be ascertained .

6. The Dicasteries of the Roman Curia and the institutions connected with the Holy See to which minors or vulnerable persons have access have adopted, with the assistance of the Accompanying Service of the Health and Hygiene Directorate, good practices and guidelines for their protection.

I establish that the present Apostolic Letter in the form of "Motu Proprio" is promulgated through the publication in L'Osservatore Romano and, subsequently, inserted in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

I agree that what has been established has full and stable value, even repealing all incompatible provisions, starting from June 1, 2019.

Given in Rome at St. Peter's, March 26, 2019, seventh of the Pontificate.



FRANCIS

 FULL TEXT Unofficial Translation from Vatican.va - Will be replaced with official Translation

Law No. CCXCVII on the protection of minors and vulnerable persons of the Vatican City State

Guidelines for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons for the Vicariate of the Vatican City

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