WATCH | Paedophile priests in rehab: how the Vatican tries to 'cure' child abusers

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The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by thousands of reports of sexual abuse around the world by priests, and accusations of cover-ups by senior clergy. A report delves into the methods being used by the Vatican to try 'cure' child abusers in the clergy and the controversies surrounding them.

In December, AFP reported that priests can no longer cite papal secrecy in abuse cases, the latest move by Pope Francis to combat silence surrounding paedophilia in the church. Francis' instructions regarding Vatican law on sexual abuse say that the pontifical secret no longer applies "to accusations, trials and decisions" involving such cases.

Pontifical secrecy is a rule of confidentiality designed to protect sensitive information related to Church governance, such as diplomatic correspondence, personnel issues and alleged crimes.

Critics say the secrecy laws have prevented priests and victims from reporting abuse, as well as hindered national justice systems prosecuting cases.

Al Jazeera previously reported that the Vatican office responsible for processing clergy sex abuse complaints saw a record 1,000 cases reported from around the world in 2019, including from countries it had not heard from before.

Nearly two decades after the Vatican assumed responsibility for reviewing all cases of abuse, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith struggled with a skeleton staff that hasn't grown at pace to meet the four-fold increase in the number of cases arriving in 2019 compared to a decade ago. 


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