Vatican gardens

Vatican takes big strides in abuse prevention, environmental protection

The Vatican has announced important new measures in the fields of child sexual abuse prevention and environmental protection.

Driving the news

As Vatican News reports, the Vicar General for the Vatican City State, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, sent a letter to the heads of all Vatican departments Tuesday pledging that “a public, permanent, and easily accessible system for reporting crimes and negligence in the area of child abuse and vulnerable adults” will be put in place by the end of this year.

Pope Francis has made the defence of children and vulnerable adults a hallmark of his pontificate.

New rules drawn up by Bergoglio for the protection of minors within the Vatican territory and the Roman Curia, as well as throughout the universal Church, went into effect June 1.

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Francis’ new Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons in the Vicariate of Vatican City contain the important step of establishing a contact person for anyone who has “information or suspicions that a minor or vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse or has suffered it in connection with the pastoral activities of the Vicariate, along with any act of negligence on the part of the Authorities”.

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Go deeper

Another field in which the Vatican is making considerable progress is in that of the protection of the environment, as Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano reported Saturday.

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The microstate has pledged to eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilisers in 15 hectares of its gardens, preferring instead to boost the natural defences of its plants.

Rafael Tornini, head of the Department of Gardens and Environment of the Vatican Governorate, explained that the initiative, born in 2015, was reinforced in 2017, inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home, Laudato si’.

Tornini explained that the Vatican has already replanted 220 trees, and hopes to plant one hundred more next year.

A new sprinkler system will also cut down on water consumption by 60% in 2020.

Thanks to the news projects, the Vatican Gardens are becoming “a green micro-heart in the heart of the city, where fauna and flora live in harmony and balance”, said the Vatican paper.

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