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HindustanTimes Sat,22 Nov 2014

World

Pope defrocked 400 priests in 2 years
PTI
Vatican City, January 18, 2014
First Published: 22:40 IST(18/1/2014)
Last Updated: 22:43 IST(18/1/2014)

In his last two years as pope, Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for raping and molesting children, more than twice as many as the two years that preceded a 2010 explosion of sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond, according to a document and an analysis of Vatican statistics.

The data — 260 priests defrocked in 2011 and 124 in 2012, a total of 384 — represented a dramatic increase over the 171 priests defrocked in 2008 and 2009.

It was the first compilation of the number of priests forcibly removed for sex abuse by the Vatican’s in-house procedures and a canon lawyer said the real figure is likely far higher, since the numbers don’t include sentences meted out by diocesan courts.

The spike started a year after the Vatican decided to double the statute of limitations on the crime, enabling victims who were in their late 30s to report abuse committed against them when they were children. The Vatican has actually made some data public year by year in its annual reports. Benedict XVI, who resigned last year and was replaced by Pope Francis, vowed zero tolerance for offending priests and the Vatican has reported receiving thousands of reports of abuse from local dioceses.


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