Vos Estis Lux Mundi

"Vos Estis Lux Mundi" (“You Are the Light of the World”) Apostolic Letter Issued by Pope Francis

The Holy Father has issued norms for the worldwide response to the evil of sexual abuse. These norms add to layers of response by the Catholic Church already in place in the United States including the Essential Norms and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

These norms, Motu Proprio Vos estis lux mundi (“You are the light of the world”), affect the global Church and require:

  • Easily accessible reporting systems
  • Clear standards for the pastoral support of victims and their families
  • Timeliness and thoroughness of investigations
  • Whistleblower protection for those making allegations
  • Active involvement of the laity

Bishops also will be held accountable under the authority of this Apostolic Letter, which covers sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable persons, sexual acts compelled through the abuse of authority, and any coverup of such crimes.

The norms also require that Church institutions comply with civil reporting laws.