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Nation and world briefs

Vatican appeals court upholds conviction of climate activists

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican City appeals court on March 12 upheld the conviction of two Italian climate activists who glued their hands to an ancient sculpture in the Vatican Museums. Guido Viero, 62, and Ester Goffi, 26, were found guilty in June on charges of damaging a “public monument of inestimable historical and artistic value.” In August 2022, they glued their hands to the base of the statue of Laocoön and His Sons, a sculpture believed to be from the first century B.C. The Vatican’s criminal court had ordered the two climate activists to pay more than $30,000 in damages for their protest, which was designed to draw attention to the effects of climate change. They were given a nine-month suspended prison sentence and suspended fines, both of which will not be imposed if they commit no crimes in the Vatican in the next five years.

Papal commission to submit first safeguarding report, launches study group

VATICAN CITY — The pope’s commission for advancing the Catholic Church’s efforts to prevent the abuse of vulnerable persons is due to submit its inaugural report on the state of safeguarding in the Church. In a statement dated March 8 and sent to reporters on March 11, the commission said it had approved the “pilot annual report” on safeguarding policies and procedures to Pope Francis, who had requested a report from the group in April 2022. In its March 8 statement, the commission announced the approval of a study group “to examine the reality of vulnerable persons in the context of the Church’s ministry and how this informs safeguarding efforts.” The study group’s goal is to “adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to the questions around vulnerability to provide concrete recommendations on how the Church might better combat the harms committed against non-minors by the Church’s ministers in a variety of pastoral settings,” the statement said. The commission will present findings in a report and offer recommendations. — Catholic News Service

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