by Hilary White, LifeSite News
After eight years of continual accusations of doing “nothing” by mainstream media, it has been revealed that Benedict XVI was busy throughout his pontificate removing priests from office who were found guilty of sexual abuse. From 2011-2012, Pope Benedict “defrocked” or laicised 384 priests, more than twice the 171 removed from the clerical state in 2008-09.
According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, in 2011, 125 laicisations were imposed as a penalty, and a further 135 were granted upon request. In 2012, there were 57 dismissals and 67 dispensations. A laicised priest can no longer perform any of the sacramental or public functions of the priesthood, can hold no office in the name of the Church and is removed from all parish duties. At the same time, he is released from obligations to his bishop and is outside the normal supervision of ecclesiastical superiors.
The documents came from Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s ambassador, or Permanent Observer to the UN in Geneva, who presented the figures to a panel on sex abuse cases last week. Tomasi presented a specially compiled document to the UN human rights committee.
According to Tomasi, in 2012, 418 new child sex abuse cases were reported to and investigated by the Vatican. The figures were later confirmed by Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the official who Benedict placed in charge of overseeing sex abuse allegations.
Tomasi told the panel, “The Holy See has formulated guidelines to facilitate the work of the local churches to develop effective measures within their jurisdiction and in conformity with canonical legislation.”