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The Vatican has expanded the statute of limitations for people seeking to report sexual abuse by a priest amid accusations that the Catholic Church has done little to protect victims of abuse.
Officials doubled the statute of limitations in abuse cases to 20 years following the victim's 18th birthday, Vatican sex crimes prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna and spokesman Federico Lombardi announced on Thursday, according to The New York Times.
Officials also added sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults as well as the possession of child pornography to the list of acts punishable by the Vatican through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The revision of the rules, however, would not hold bishops responsible for priests in their diocesan jurisdiction. The Vatican would also not mandate that all accusations of sexual abuse be reported to local police.
In the same spate of revisions made to Roman Catholic Church policies on Thursday, the Vatican also deemed the "attempted ordination of women" as priests to be a grave sin against the church, like heresy, schism, and pedophilia.