The Vatican has confirmed that close to 400 priests were defrocked in 2011-2012 by Pope Benedict XVI over claims of child abuse.
The statistics reveal a large increase in the number of priests removed from their posts – more than double the 171 priests defrocked in 2008-9.
The data, unearthed by the Associated Press and subsequently confirmed by the Vatican, had been collected for this week’s United Nations hearing on child sex abuse by the clergy.
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