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.
Australia's Cardinal George Pell, a former top adviser to Catholic Pope Francis, was remanded into custody on Wednesday after a sentence plea hearing on his conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys more than two decades ago.
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.
"To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice," Pope Francis said. His statement is the strongest yet on an issue testing the Church.
There are an estimated 10 million Catholics in China, divided between a government-run association whose clergy are approved by the Communist Party, and the unofficial church loyal to the Vatican.
The two are Cardinal George Pell of Australia and Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Chile. Both have been the subject of allegations related to sexual abuse - accusations they deny.
After weeks of relative silence, Pope Francis has agreed to meet a delegation of US bishops and cardinals to discuss the Vatican response to the clergy abuse crisis.
Ten Taekwondo athletes from North and South Korea introduced their stunning kicks to the Roman Catholic Pope Francis at the Vatican to celebrate unity between the countries.
Magistrate Belinda Wallington will rule on whether the prosecution's case against Australian Cardinal George Pell is strong enough to warrant a trial by jury.
Pope Francis in his Easter address appeals for ending conflict in "long-suffering land of Syria" and the Holy Land two days after at least 16 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli troops.
Top-ranking Cardinal George Pell's alleged victims have begun testifying against the top Vatican official in a hearing to decide whether the case should go to trial.
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2019 TRT World.