The papal decree sets time limits for local investigations and the Vatican's response to them and allows for retroactive reporting. It also raises to 18 from 16 the age of adulthood in cases of sexual abuse.
The mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.
Landmark Vatican summit on fighting child sex abuse concludes with Pope Francis announcing measures to tackle paedophilia in Catholic Church. But advocates for victims say Francis merely repeated old promises.
On the second day of Francis' gathering of Catholic leaders, one Cardinal called for transparent new structures of reporting allegations against superiors, investigating them and establishing clear procedures to remove them from office.
The ongoing sex abuse scandal has again escalated in a crisis that has touched many countries across the globe, with recent cases affecting Chile, Germany and the US.
Victims demand absolute commitment from church and Pope Francis on zero tolerance for abusive clergy and those involved in the cover-up. The supreme pontiff has admitted some of his actions contributed to the problem.
The decision comes after a Vatican trial found former US cardinal Theodore McCarrick guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults. He is the highest profile figure in the Catholic church to be dismissed in nearly 100 years.
The head of the global tech giant and the Roman Catholic leader, discuss "artificial intelligence at the service of the common good and activities aimed at bridging the digital divide that still persists at the global level," Vatican statement says.
The papal admission follows a rare outcry from the Vatican's women's magazine over the sexual abuse of nuns, leaving them feeling forced to have abortions or raise children not recognised by their priest fathers.
"The abuse of minors is one of the vilest and most heinous crimes conceivable," the head of the global Catholic church said in his annual address to ambassadors to the Vatican.
Services held around the world to mark the birth of Jesus.
Addressing thousands of people from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis described the world's differences as a richness, not a danger, and called for political solutions to end wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.
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