VATICAN CITY (AP) - Vatican officials say Pope Benedict XVI will
soon issue a document outlining the church's procedures for
handling clerical sex abuse cases that will gather together and
make permanent and legally binding the ad hoc norms currently in
The "instruction" from the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith has been in the works for some time.
But its impendingpublication has taken on new relevance amid the abuse scandal which has roiled the Vatican for months, with hundreds of new cases coming to light of priests who raped and sodomized children,bishops who covered up for them and Vatican officials who turned a blind eye.
The norms concern the canonical procedures for dealing with
abusive priests, not necessarily civil reporting requirements.
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