Stephen Fry on age of consent and crime rate in Vatican City.

Stephen Fry on age of consent and crime rate in Vatican City. August 26, 2013

This cracked me up.

The actual age of consent in the Vatican is a little fuzzy, what with the mingling of secular and divine laws (they say the deference should always be to divine law, but that’s not actually what always happens).  It turns out they have a lot of different ages of consent.

While the Vatican State has not made its own complete separate criminal code, and generally uses the Italian criminal code that was in effect at the time of the Lateran Treaty, there are exceptions to this rule. The “Law of the Source of Law” of the Vatican State requires that any Italian laws must first defer to divine law, to Papal decrees, and to canon law. As the Vatican understands divine law, all sex outside of marriage is illicit, and therefore the only lawful consent that may be made for sexual relations is the consent between a husband and a wife. Canon 1083 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states that “A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.” [99] Thus, assuming the couple is married, the minimum age of consent for lawful sexual relations according to Vatican law is 15 for females, and 17 for males.[original research?]Vatican still has enforced the Zanardelli Code of 1889, which states that the age of consent is set at 12 years old, but according to Art. 331 (2) when there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student/ etc.) the age of consent is 15 years.

You’d think god could’ve made his will on this a little more clear.  Maybe it would help the totally legit claim about the crime rate per capita if their laws were just a hair less muddled…

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