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Pope Benedict defrocked 400 priests in 2 years for child molestation

January 17th, 2014 2:15 pm by JOHN HEILPRIN and NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Pope Benedict defrocked 400 priests in 2 years for child molestation

In this picture provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, left, welcomes Pope Francis as they exchanged Christmas greetings, at the Vatican Dec. 23. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

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.


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