On Friday, Pope Francis changed the way that bishops and cardinals who work in the Vatican will be tried if suspected of criminal activity, ruling that they will be judged by the same lay tribunal that judges other criminal cases.
NPR reported: “Under the law published Friday, Vatican-based high prelates who work in the Holy See will be tried by the lay court that also hears criminal cases. They will no longer be given special judicial treatment by a body made up of high-ranking clergy members known as the court of cassation.”
As reported by Reuters, there have been multiple cases in the past few years where non-clergy, lay people involved in criminal investigations were judged and sentenced by the regular tribunal, which is composed of non-clerics. Cardinals who were caught up in the same cases, however, were either not judged or were treated in a special way.
The outlet reported that in the preface to the decree, Francis said civil law