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848 priests laicized, over 3,400 disciplined for abuse, Vatican official tells UN panel

May 06, 2014

Over 3,400 Catholics priests have been disciplined by the Vatican because of sexual abuse, and 848 have been laicized, the Vatican revealed on May 6.

During a 2nd day of questioning before a UN commission on the Convention against Torture, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said that the disciplinary actions reflected the more than 3,400 credible reports of sexual abuse submitted to the Vatican in the past decade—including 401 cases last year.

Among the 2,572 priests who were disciplined but not laicized, the archbishop said that many were elderly, and directed to spend the reminder of their lives in prayer and penance. In all such cases, he said, the priest was “put in a place where he doesn't have any contact with the children."

Archbishop Tomasi insisted that “there is not climate of impunity” for clerics who abuse children. In the past 10 years, he testified, the Church has undertaken a commitment to handle the problem “in a systematic, comprehensive, constructive way.”


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  • Posted by: feedback - May. 07, 2014 9:35 AM ET USA

    Torture is a tool of oppressive governments for cruel harassment and destroying political opponents. Sexual abuse of boys by deviant adult men should not be qualified as "torture" by the UN. Plus, if the Holy See ratified the Convention in June 2002, then they should not even let themselves be dragged to events prior to 2002. Abp Tomasi, you are innocent but could you be a little shrewder, please?