Nearly 400 Catholic priests were laicized in a 2-year period during the pontificate of Benedict XVI because of sexual abuse of children, according to a Vatican document obtained by the Associated Press.
The document, covering the years 2011 and 2012, is the first Vatican account of the number of priests disciplined because of sex-abuse charges. Under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican redoubled efforts to remove abusers from the priesthood.
The Vatican document was prepared for a UN hearing before a UN committee on Vatican implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. AP obtained the document the next day.