Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C. Menu Contact

Vatican says 848 priests defrocked for sexual abuse since 2004

GENEVA -- The Vatican released comprehensive statistics for the first time Tuesday on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children, saying 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade. The

Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, revealed the figures during a second day of grilling by a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the U.N. treaty against torture.

 

Tomasi insisted the convention applied only inside the tiny Vatican City state. But he nevertheless released statistics about how the Holy See has adjudicated sex abuse cases globally, and significantly, he didn't dispute the committee's contention that sexual violence against children can be considered torture. Tomasi said that since 2004, more than 3,400 credible cases of abuse had been referred to the Vatican, including 401 cases in 2013 alone. He said that over the last decade, 848 priests had been defrocked, or returned to the lay state by the pope. Another 2,572 were sentenced to a lifetime of penance and prayer or some other lesser sanction, which is often used when the accused priest is elderly or infirm. Acknowledging the high number of priests sanctioned with the lesser punishment, Tomasi said it still amounted to disciplinary action and that the abuser is "just put in a place where he doesn't have any contact with the children." The Associated Press in January reported that then-Pope Benedict XVI had defrocked 384 priests in the final two years of his pontificate, citing documentation Tomasi's delegation had prepared for another U.N. committee hearing that matched data contained in the

Vatican's statistical yearbooks. Tomasi told the AP on Tuesday that those figures from January were "incomplete" and that the data he provided the torture committee Tuesday -- the first ever year-by-year breakdown of how cases were adjudicated -- was complete. He told the committee that "there is no climate of impunity but there is a total commitment to clean the house" and prevent more abuse. "I think we have crossed a threshold so to say in our evolution of the approach to these problems," he concluded. "It's clear that the issue of sexual abuse of children, which is a worldwide plague and scourge, has been addressed in the last 10 years by the church in a systematic, comprehensive, constructive way."

The Associated Press

Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contact

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.
64 Lyon Terrace
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Toll Free: 877-335-5145
Phone: 203-335-5145
Fax: 203-366-8503
Map & Directions

Review Us