Pope Benedict XVI's announcement of Catholic reforms involving sexual abuse, on Thursday, a Vatican spokesman has further detailed the extent of the new rules for Catholics.
According to Fr. Federico Lombardi, speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church, new actions are eligible to be placed in the category of "delicta graviora," which is under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In addition, the "statutes of limitation" regulating sexual abuse cases has been extended by the Pope.
Notably, Fr. Lombardi noted that, among other reforms, a doctorate degree in canon law is "no longer required for a person," including the laity, to take part in church judicial processes as a member of the tribunal, lawyer or prosecutor.
The New York Theological Seminary is an institution that is dedicated to inter-faith dialogue and the dynamics of social ministry.