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Did Pope Francis Criminalize the Reporting of Sex Crimes?

Filed under Scandal

Pope Francis

Yesterday morning, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Facebook page posted the following bombshell:

"According to the new laws, revealing or receiving confidential Vatican information is now punishable by up to two years in prison, while newly defined sex crimes against children carry a sentence of up to twelve years. Because all sex crimes are kept confidential, there is no longer a legal way for Vatican officials to report sex crimes."

This was startling stuff, and of course it wasn't long before Dawkins' devoteees began to chime in. One fan compared the Vatican to Islamic Sharia law:

"Catholic law, as with Sharia law, should NEVER be above the law of the land! If Vatican officials want to report the crimes of priests, surley [sic] if they leave the Vatican, they are no longer bound by their medieval laws, and can report with complete immunity to those barbaric laws?"

Another atheist commenter sees this is as just one more reason why Catholics should be leaving the Church:

This is why people should be flocking away from Catholicism, but nooooo. Who cares if your children are safe, as long as you have a spot in Heaven! Stuff like this is why even if I could bring myself to believe in a sky wizard, I would refuse to worship a God so messed up!

As of this morning, this post had 4,584 "likes" and was shared more than 7,804 times on Facebook. Atheists definitely know how to get the word out.

The only problem is that this article came from a parody web site (similar to the Onion) called Newslo. The site describes itself this way:

"Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find the line between fact and commentary."

Unlike the Richard Dawkins Foundation Facebook page, Newslo has a button you can select that highlights the bits in an article that are fact-based. At the time of this writing there is no indication that the Dawkins Foundation was aware that this bit of Vatican "news" is not.
Originally posted at Catholic Answers. Used with permission.
(Image credit: Charisma News)

Jon Sorensen

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Jon Sorensen is the Director of Marketing for Catholic Answers, the largest lay-run apostolate of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 3D Animation and Visual Communications in 2004 from Platt College, Ontario. Before coming to Catholic Answers, he worked in the automotive industry producing television commercials and corporate video. He has also produced motion graphics for several feature-length films. Follow Jon through his website, JonSorenson.net.

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