May 9, 2019

Pope Francis issues sweeping new law for sexual abuse reporting

Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pope Francis issued a sweeping new Vatican law Thursday that requires all priests and nuns worldwide to report sexual abuse and subsequent coverups to Catholic Church authorities, the AP reports.

Why it matters: This is the Church's latest attempt to salvage its reputation and to curb mounting criticisms of its institutional negligence toward sexual abuse victims.

The big picture: The system makes the Church's priests and nuns worldwide "mandated reporters" of sexual abuse and assault — similar to the system in place for university employees in the U.S. It also guarantees them whistleblower protections and outlines procedures when the accused is a religious superior, like a bishop or cardinal.

  • The new laws require dioceses worldwide to implement systems that allow confidential reporting. It also makes no distinction about past cases, meaning that systems could see a flood of retroactive reports of abuse from long ago.
  • The laws include no punishment for priests and nuns who choose not to report cases of abuse — and has no sanctions in place for diocese that choose not to implement reporting systems.
  • Victims who report sexual abuse must be offered mental and spiritual assistance, but the law includes no form of financial reparations.

Go deeper: Former Pope blames the sexual revolution, secularism for abuse in Catholic Church

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Scoop: Inside the epic White House fight over hydroxychloroquine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The White House coronavirus task force had its biggest fight yet on Saturday, pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. At issue: How enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19?

Behind the scenes: This drama erupted into an epic Situation Room showdown. Trump's coronavirus task force gathered in the White House Situation Room on Saturday at about 1:30pm, according to four sources familiar with the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence sat at the head of the table.

Go deeperArrow14 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,260,104 — Total deaths: 69,082 — Total recoveries: 258,588Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 331,151 — Total deaths: 9.441 — Total recoveries: 16,848Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A Malayan tiger cub in its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo on April 27, 2017. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to statements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the New York City zoo.

Why it matters: It's the first known animal to test positive for the virus in the United States. The tiger is believed to have contracted the virus from an asymptomatic zookeeper.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health