January 17, 2014 - 1:30 PM
VATICAN CITY - A document obtained by The Associated Press shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.
The statistics for 2011-12 represent the first time that the Vatican has provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Prior to that, it had only revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received.
The document was prepared from data the Vatican had been collecting to help the Holy See defend itself before a U.N. committee this week in Geneva.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, referred to just one of the statistics in the course of eight hours of oftentimes pointed criticism and questioning from the U.N. human rights committee. The AP obtained the document Friday.
Heilprin reported from Geneva.
A copy of an internal Vatican document used by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, during the Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 hearing before the U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the Convention for the Rights of the Child. Tomasi cited some of the 2012 figures contained in the document, which was prepared to help the Holy See defend itself. The document obtained by the Associated Press shows that as more than 800 new sex abuse cases poured into the Vatican in 2011-2012, the pope defrocked nearly 400 priests for molesting children.
Image Credit: AP
News from © The Associated Press, 2014