400 Priests Defrocked in Two Years
Via the BBC: Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests in two years.
When I first saw this headline, I thought that it was positive evidence of the Vatican acting in regards the pedophilia scandal in the Church. However, upon reading the story it shows a mixed outcome:
Close to 400 priests were defrocked in only two years by the former Pope Benedict XVI over claims of child abuse, the Vatican has confirmed.
The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase compared with previous years, according to a document obtained by the Associated Press (AP).
The file was part of Vatican data collected for a UN hearing on Thursday.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi initially said the AP report had been based on a mistaken reading of data.
But he later retracted his statement, confirming to the BBC that the story was correct.
The latest statistics reveal the number of priests defrocked in 2011 and 2012 was more than double the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided figures.
The Vatican also sent another 400 cases to either be tried by a Church tribunal or to be dealt with administratively, AP reports.
On the one hand, that the previous Pope acted to defrock a large number of priests involved in the scandal is positive. On the other, the fact that it was not done more openly (and that the Vatican clearly would prefer that the information not be made public) underscores the degree to which the church hierarchy would prefer to be as quiet as possible about this story.
Although to give credit where credit is due:
In a homily on Thursday, Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, called abuse scandals "the shame of the Church".
He announced in December that a Vatican committee would be set up to fight sexual abuse of children in the Church.
Still, the Vatican still appears unwilling to fully confront the scope of the abuses that took place.