Category Archives: Legal mumbo-jumbo

The Vatican has lost any possible claim of a right to secrecy.

In a recent article from USA Today, we learn that:

Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City state on [July 11], 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.

… Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state’s legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. [This was signed into international law nearly 23 years ago, and two sets of further optional protocols have since been added, one of which explicitly deals with the sexual exploitation of children.]

… Anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation risks six months to two years in prison and a €2,000 euro ($2,500) fine; the penalty goes up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the “fundamental interests” of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations with other countries.

…[The ]crime of leaking Vatican information never existed before in the Vatican legal system.

I know they say they’re criminalizing child sex abuse, child pornography, and so on. But here’s the deal: these laws only cover the Vatican, which is a miniscule nation. It’d be nothing more than a tin-pot dictatorship, if people didn’t think that this cloister of geriatric celibates had a direct psychic hotline to the omnipotent creator of the universe. And while their legislation has laughably small power, their attempt to ban the leaking of information of interest to the Vatican has a much more wide-reaching impact.

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