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The Delicts of Sexual Abuse in the Revised Penal Law of the Latin Catholic Church




November 24, 2021

12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. (EST)

Saint Paul University, Ottawa (Ontario), Canada

The webinar is free, but registration is required.

What’s so new about the revised body of penal laws that Pope Francis has promulgated for the Latin Catholic Church?  What changes has he made about the delicts of sexual abuse in the Church?  What are these delicts, and who commits them?  What does this new law say about those who keep sexual abuse “secret,” whether by not reporting it or by covering it up? 

The new penal legislation of Pope Francis, which becomes effective 8 December 2021, says that delicts of sexual abuse are committed against minors, those who habitually have the imperfect use of reason, and “vulnerable persons.” These delicts are considered violations of the human life, dignity, and freedom of the victims. Significantly, this new law says that these delicts can be committed by clergy, non-ordained consecrate persons (brothers and sisters), and lay persons who hold church leadership positions.  Until now, only clergy committed delicts of sexual abuse.

This webinar offers a practical analysis of the delicts of sexual abuse in the revised penal law over recent decades.  It also studies two related delicts: (1) the delict of “silence by mandated reporters” and (2) the delict of “covering up sexual abuse” by church authorities. 


This Webinar is offered in English.

It will take place online via Zoom, both synchronously (“live”) and asynchronously (recorded).

The session will be open fifteen minutes before the start of the presentation.

Monsignor John A. Renken
Dean and Full Professor
SPU Faculty of Canon Law
Ottawa, On, Canada



Monsignor John Anthony Renken, M.A. in Civil Law (University of Illinois, Springfield, 1988); S.T.D. in Dogmatic Theology (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1981) and J.C.D. (Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1981). He has lectured widely, and his articles appear in many canonical journals. In 2007, he joined the Faculty of Canon Law, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, where he is now Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law and full professor, as well as editor of Studia canonical, the faculty’s periodical.


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