12:43 GMT23 January 2021
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    Pope Francis warned Saturday that Catholic bishops and other senior officials neglecting investigation into child sexual abuse by priests would be sacked, according to the official papal decree.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The decree specified that existing rules already provided for the possibility of removing senior church officials from office.

    However the new approach put emphasis on "grave causes," which include "the negligence of a bishop in the exercise of his role, especially in relation to cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults."

    Stricter rules will come into effect from September 5 of this year, according to the publication of the Holy See’s press office.

    Stricter guidelines for the clergy come after the Catholic Church was criticized for covering up abuse of minors by its priests in Europe and North America, prompting the pope to vow a zero-tolerance approach.


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