The Vatican issued a set of new rules in how they would handle discipline within the Church. Their new rules puts the ordination of female priests alongside pedophilia as a serious crimes which will be subject to investigation.

The “crimes against faith” will be investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) which is being consider the successor of the Inquisition. 

Anyone who is involved in ordaining women priest is automatically excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church as they see it “a crime against sacraments.”

This new rule comes as a shock but high ranks within the Church were displeased with the Pope’s warm welcome to Anglican clergy. Since 1992 women in the Anglican Church will be eligible to become priest.

On Saturday 70 priests met with a Catholic bishop to discus there planned exodus from Rome all because Pope Benedict has met with the Anglican Church. Benedict had discussed the possibility of Anglicans converting to Catholicism and keeping tenets of their own faith.

Within the Catholic Church here have been growing calls to allow women to become priests in the wake of the widespread paedophilia scandal. Women priests have been allowed in the Anglican Church since 1992.

But the Vatican made its stance clear yesterday by comparing such actions to child abuse crimes and issuing new rules for investigating both by the same disciplinary body.

The Holy Office of Inquisition was previously run by Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger.

The new rules also mean that pedophile crimes within the Church will be fast tracked and the statue of limitations on child abuse crimes will be extended by 10 years to 20 years after the victim's 18th birthday. It also has the option to defrock priest and hand them over to the civil courts.

David Clohessy, of The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests said “Clergy sex crimes must be reported to police and the Vatican must make this a binding policy that is uniformly enforced.”