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Rome Reports

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July 2010: New rules to stop sexual abuse

In July Pope Benedict XVI left Rome to visit the Italian town of Sulmona, where he commemorated the 800th birthday of Pope Celestine V, one of the few who resigned from the papacy.

In the afternoon young people gathered in the cathedral. They jokingly spoke with the Pope while showing their support and later asked him about vocation and the way of living the faith.

You are strong and affectionate like the people here in Abruzzo.”

He replied that to discover what God wants from each of us we must have the “ability and the joy of listening and following the voice of God.” Which will require silence and the will to always be at the service of others.

In July, Benedict XVI appointed an apostolic delegate to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. The 75 year old Bishop Velasio De Paolis is a senior Vatican official and a member of the Order of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo. He has undertaken the examination of the constitutions of the congregation to review its charisma.

Fr. Miguel Segura

Mater Ecclesiae seminary rector, Rome

We are very grateful to the There is a thanks to the Pope for having sent us a delegate, because it?s as if we had the Holy Father in our congregation.”

Also in July, the Vatican issued new rules to tackle sexual abuse. ;The majority were norms that have been in place for many years but ;finally converted into law. ;

Though in a new development, the Vatican will judge directly crimes such as possession of child pornography, abuse of disabled adults, and the recording of confessions with audio devices. In addition, the laity will be judges or lawyers in these processes.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna

Promoter of Justice (Vatican)

I think this law proves that we take our commitment very seriously to promote safe environments and respond appropriately to the abuses.”

Internal sanctions against offending priests can range from a ban on appearing in public as priests or celebrating Mass, to even in severe cases, expulsion from the priesthood. However, these sanctions are internal and do not interrupt or replace state processes.