Italian bishops 'not legally obliged' to report pedophilia
28 March 2014
The Italian Bishops' Conference 2013. File photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
(ANSA) - Rome - Italian bishops do not have the "legal obligation" to report cases of child-sex abuse by priests to the judicial authorities, according to guidelines released by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) Friday.
The guidelines said, however, that bishops had a "moral duty to contribute to common good". "Not having the role of a public official, the bishop does not have the legal obligation to report (cases) to the judicial authorities, aside from the moral duty to contribute to the common good," the guidelines read on child-sex abuse cases.
They added that bishops must take "special care" in selecting candidates for the priesthood. They also stressed the importance of "rigorous attention to exchanges of information about candidates to the priesthood who move from one seminary to another". The Church's image has been tainted by child-sex-abuse scandals in many parts of the world, including Italy, in recent years.
Pope Francis has taken several steps to repair some of the damage, including the nomination of a new anti-abuse commission this month.
Pope presses anti-AIDS chastity strategy in Africa
7 April 2014
Pope Francis and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan smile during a private audience at the Vatican, Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gentile, Pool)
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has praised church workers in Africa who promote chastity as a key way to prevent the spread of HIV.
Francis was speaking Monday at the Vatican to bishops from Tanzania.
Many non-Catholic health care workers advocate condoms as an important weapon to fight the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The Vatican opposes condom use because church teaching forbids contraception. Francis praised church health care workers in Africa who care for those with HIV/AIDS and `'all who strive diligently to educate people in the area of sexual responsibility and chastity."
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said male prostitutes who intend to use condoms might be taking a step toward greater responsibility. The Vatican insisted Benedict wasn't justifying condom usage to prevent HIV's spread.
'A' for Angela: GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies and Merkel
By Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
Merkel was an NSA target. But so too were private companies in Germany. DPA
Merkel was an NSA target. But so too were private companies in Germany.
Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation?
The headquarters of Stellar, a company based in the town of Hürth near Cologne, are visible from a distance. Seventy-five white antennas dominate the landscape. The biggest are 16 meters (52 feet) tall and kept in place by steel anchors. It is an impressive sight and serves as a popular backdrop for scenes in TV shows, including the German action series "Cobra 11."
Stellar operates a satellite ground station in Hürth, a so-called "teleport." Its services are used by companies and institutions; Stellar's customers include Internet providers, telecommunications companies and even a few governments. "The world is our market," is the high-tech company's slogan.
Using their ground stations and leased capacities from satellites, firms like Stellar -- or competitors like Cetel in the nearby village of Ruppichteroth or IABG, which is headquartered in Ottobrunn near Munich -- can provide Internet and telephone services in even the most remote areas. They provide communications links to places like oil drilling platforms, diamond mines, refugee camps and foreign outposts of multinational corporations and international organizations.
Super high-speed Internet connections are required at the ground stations in Germany in order to ensure the highest levels of service possible. Most are connected to major European Internet backbones that offer particularly high bandwidth.
Probing German Internet Traffic
The service they offer isn't just attractive to customers who want to improve their connectivity. It is also of interest to Britain's GCHQ intelligence service, which has targeted the German companies. Top secret documents from the archive of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden viewed by SPIEGEL show that the British spies surveilled employees of several German companies, and have also infiltrated their networks. One top-secret GCHQ paper claims the agency sought "development of in-depth knowledge of key satellite IP service providers in Germany."
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