Pope allows cardinals, bishops to be tried by Vatican’s lay criminal tribunal
Pope Francis during the weekly general audience with the crib at the Apostolic Palace, in the Vatican, on Dec. 23, 2020. - Vatican Media/CPP/IPA/TNS

Cardinals and bishops will now be allowed to be tried by the Vatican’s lay criminal tribunal, according to a decree issued Friday by Pope Francis. Until now, the Catholic Church’s most senior officials accused of criminal offenses could only be tried by their peers in the "Corte di Cassazone" (Court of Cassation), which is presided over by a cardinal. On Friday, Francis changed the policy in a document named “motu proprio,” which amends the judicial system of the Vatican City State promulgated in March 2020, according to Vatican News. The new law makes clear that Vatican City State judges have...