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

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,778,331 — Total deaths: 974,436 — Total recoveries: 21,876,025Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,943,078 — Total deaths: 201,930 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

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