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Pope raises minimum age for marriage in Catholic law from 14 to 16

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Posted at 1:27 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 15:13:51-05

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says Pope Francis plans to raise the minimum age for girls to marry in the Roman Catholic church from 14 to 16.

The news comes as the pope opens a summit at the Vatican on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

It's an issue that's damaged the church for decades, and Pope Francis himself as been accused of inaction since assuming the papacy.

The Vatican's leading sex crimes investigator did not say when the age will be changed in Catholic Church canon law but he says the minimum age for boys stands at 16, and some parishes and dioceses have already raised the age for girls to 16.

Pope Francis says the four-day conference intends to teach church leaders on the seriousness of the sex abuse crisis and how to deal with it.