Friday, May 09, 2014

Vatican defrocked 848 priests for abuse


The Vatican says it defrocked 848 priests and punished 2572 others out of the 3420 cases of child sex abuse brought to its attention in the past decade, telling a UN hearing that it was determined to stamp out the scourge.


The Church counted 414,313 priests globally in 2012.

Tomasi said 3420 cases based on ‘credible accusations’ of abuse have been handled over the past decade by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the church prosecuting arm, mostly over offences from the 1950s to 80s.

Of those, 848 priests were defrocked – expelled from the priesthood. A further 2572 were ordered to ‘live a life of prayer or penance’, for example, in a monastery.

‘This does not mean the person gets away with the crime they have committed. They are all taken out of the context where they can reach children,’ Tomasi said.

He said he was unable immediately to provide data on numbers turned over to justice authorities in countries where crimes occurred, but that he thought most cases were reported and not just handled in-house.

‘When there is a credible accusation, it should be reported to civil authorities as well,’ he underlined.