RESCRIPTUM EX AUDIENTIA SS.MI
His Holiness Pope Francis, in the Audience granted to His
Excellency Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for General
Affairs of the Secretariat of State, on 4 December 2019, has decided
to issue the Instruction On the Confidentiality of Legal
Proceedings, attached to the present Rescriptum, of which
it forms an integral part.
The Holy Father has determined that the Rescriptum shall
have firm and stable application, notwithstanding anything to the
contrary, even if worthy of special mention, that it shall be
promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano, with
immediate force, and then be published in the official commentary
Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
From the Vatican, 6 December 2019
CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN
Secretary of State
On the Confidentiality of Legal Proceedings
1. The pontifical secret does not apply to accusations, trials
and decisions involving the offences referred to in:
a) Article 1 of the Motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi”
(7 May 2019);
b) Article 6 of the Normae de gravioribus delictis
reserved to the judgement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith, in accordance with the Motu proprio “Sacramentorum Sanctitatis
of Saint John Paul II (30 April 2001), and subsequent amendments.
2. Nor does the pontifical secret apply when such offenses were
committed in conjunction with other offences.
3. In the cases referred to in No. 1, the information is to be
treated in such a way as to ensure its security, integrity and
confidentiality in accordance with the prescriptions of canons 471,
2° CIC and 244 §2, 2° CCEO, for the sake of protecting the good
name, image and privacy of all persons involved.
4. Office confidentiality shall not prevent the fulfilment of the
obligations laid down in all places by civil laws, including any
reporting obligations, and the execution of enforceable requests of
civil judicial authorities.
5. The person who files the report, the person who alleges to
have been harmed and the witnesses shall not be bound by any
obligation of silence with regard to matters involving the case.