Child molesters: Pope defrocked nearly 400 priests over 2 years

Posted Jan 17, 2014 by Marcus Hondro
Documents revealed today by the Vatican show that in 2011 and 2012 Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for child sexual molestation. While the numbers are higher than previous, the Church has only been releasing statistics for 4 years.
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Vatican outside the headquarters of t...
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Vatican outside the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, on January 16, 2014
Fabrice Coffrini, AFP
The increase in defrocked priests over that 2 year span is indicated when the numbers of 2008 and 2009 are noted; in those years the combined number of priests defrocked by the Catholic Church was 171. The number of priests defrocked in 2010 was not published but the Vatican revealed that in that year 527 cases were reported to them.
Congregation of Doctrine of Faith
The Vatican has an annual report compiled that notes in detail the goings-on in its various offices; that report includes news on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the office that looks into reports of a child being sexually abused by a priest. These reports are available to the public at Catholic university libraries.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican UN ambassador in Geneva, is testifying this week before the U.N. Human Rights tribunal there. The numbers have been released now in part for his usage and presumably he will use them to make the claim to the tribunal that they are working to stop child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
In the past, the Church has been taken to task for its method of dealing with a priest who sexually molested a child or children. For many years, for decades, the church has been found to have simply moved offending priests from one parish to another.
In addition to priests being defrocked for child sexual abuse, some priests are admonished for crimes of abuse not deemed as serious and receive lesser punishments. Other than being defrocked, there is no other punishment meted out by the church for priests found guilty of sexually abusing a child.
Pope Pope Benedict XVI, 86, retired last year and was replaced by Pope Francis, marking the first time in 600 years a Pope stepped down rather than serve until death.