Vatican reveals it has disciplined nearly 3,500 priests since 2004 for raping and molesting children and 848 of them have been defrocked
- Further 2,572 given lesser sanctions - such as 'penance and prayer'
- Silvano Tomasi, Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, revealed figures
- In 2013 alone 401 cases were recorded, the Archbishop said
The Vatican has disciplined 3,500 priests since 2004 for raping and molesting children, it has today been revealed.
Almost 850 of the priests have been defrocked and 2,572 have been given lesser sanctions - such as a 'lifetime of penance and prayer' - over the past decade.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, revealed the figures during a second day of questionning by a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the U.N. treaty against torture.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, has revealed that the Vatican has disciplined 3,500 priests since 2004 for raping and molesting children
Almost 850 of the priests have been defrocked and 2,572 have been given lesser sanctions - such as a 'lifetime of penance and prayer' - over the past decade
He said that since 2004, more than 3,400 credible cases of abuse had been referred to the Vatican
He said that since 2004, more than 3,400 credible cases of abuse had been referred to the Vatican.
In 2013 alone, 401 cases were recorded.
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.
Tomasi insisted the convention applied only inside the tiny Vatican City state.
But he released statistics revealing how the Holy See has adjudicated sex abuse cases globally, and significantly, he did not dispute the committee's contention that sexual violence against children can be considered torture.
Tomasi said the lesser sanctions still amounted to disciplinary action.
He said that the abuser is 'just put in a place where he doesn't have any contact with the children.'
In January it was revealed that Pope Benedict XVI had defrocked 384 priests in the final two years of his pontificate,
He cited documentation that Tomasi's delegation had prepared for another U.N. committee hearing that matched data contained in the Vatican's statistical yearbooks.
Tomasi said 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.'
In January it was revealed that Pope Benedict XVI had defrocked 384 priests in the final two years of his pontificate
ROLL CALL OF SHAME: VATICAN REVEALS CATALOGUE OF SEX ABUSE
The Vatican has released the first-ever complete statistics on the number of sex abuse cases reported to the Holy See and how they were adjudicated.
The vast majority of reported cases concern abuse that occurred years or even decades earlier.
The sanctions only cover cases directly handled by the Holy See, not those handled by local diocesan tribunals, meaning the total numbers of priests defrocked or otherwise disciplined is likely far higher.
2004: 713 cases reported, 89 priests defrocked, 641 priests disciplined with lesser penalties.
2005: 184 cases, 84 defrocked, 100 disciplined
2006: 218 cases, 114 defrocked, 104 disciplined
2007: 216 cases, 84 defrocked, 132 disciplined
2008: 191 cases, 68 defrocked, 123 disciplined
2009: 196 cases, 69 defrocked, 127 disciplined
2010: 464 cases, 84 defrocked, 380 disciplined
2011: 402 cases, 143 defrocked, 259 disciplined
2012: 418 cases, 70 defrocked, 348 disciplined
2013: 401 cases, 43 defrocked, 358 disciplined.