Vatican’s Judicial Activity Is Suspended Until May 4

Deferment of the Rescript of March 18

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By a rescript signed on April 1, 2020, Pope Francis defers the suspension of all the processes underway in the Vatican’s judicial organs until May 4, 2020, given the health situation linked to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The preceding rescript had suspended the judicial activity until April 3.

The new rescript, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, explains that it has to do with “extraordinary and urgent measures” to “combat the epidemiological crisis” and to “contain its negative effects.”

The trials, deadlines, and prescriptions of the March 18 rescript are suspended. The hearings and different procedures are deferred. However, this decision does  not apply to investigations underway and to dossiers that must be addressed for ”urgent reasons,” in the case where a deferment could cause “grave prejudice to the parties.”

The small State has three Tribunals: The Apostolic Penitentiary (Court dealing with questions of the internal forum), the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (higher jurisdiction) and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota (Court of Appeal).

In his rescript, the Pope also states that these Tribunals can limit access to offices, opening hours, decide on closed hearings and organize the rotation of personnel.

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Anne Kurian-Montabone

Laurea in Teologia (2008) alla Facoltà di teologia presso l'Ecole cathedrale di Parigi. Ha lavorato 8 anni per il giornale settimanale francese France Catholique" e participato per 6 mese al giornale "Vocation" del servizio vocazionale delle chiesa di Parigi. Co-autore di un libro sulla preghiera al Sacro Cuore. Dall'ottobre 2011 è Collaboratrice della redazione francese di Zenit."

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