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Pope issues measure outlawing child abuse

Pope Francis presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession on Good Friday in front of the Colosseum in Rome on March 29, 2013. UPI/Stefano Spaziani | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4aab7aa950f98049f71e27eb8bb53be3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Pope Francis presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession on Good Friday in front of the Colosseum in Rome on March 29, 2013. UPI/Stefano Spaziani | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, July 11 (UPI) -- Pope Francis announced Thursday he has issued a law that makes it a crime to abuse children sexually or physically on Vatican grounds.

The acts were already crimes under church law, CNN said, but are now specifically outlawed within the Vatican, which is home to hundreds of people.

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The measure also covers child prostitution, and the creation or possession of child pornography.

The new law is part of an update to the Vatican's legal system, which began under Pope Benedict.

Pope Francis issued the law as a moto proprio, meaning the measure was his own initiative.

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