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Clergy Sex Abuse: Pope Benedict Defrocked Almost 400 Priests in Two Years

The Associated Press says it obtained a document revealing that Pope Benedict XVI defrocked close to 400 priests during 2011 and 2012 for sexually abusing children. The information comes from data the Vatican has been gathering to assist the Holy See’s defense before The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child this week.

Speaking before the panel, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who once served as the sex crimes prosecutor of the Vatican, said that the Holy See now understands that certain changes need to be made in the handling of clergy sex abuse cases. Last year, Pope Francis made the recommendation that the church take decisive action by speaking out about the protection of minors, taking the guilty to task, and helping the victims.

Please contact Altman & Altman, LLP if you believe your child was a victim of Massachusetts clergy sexual abuse and you would like to explore legal options. We also represent adults who were the victims of Boston sexual abuse as children.

Over the years, thousands of boys and girls around the world suffered at the hands of priests and other clergy members who used their authority and position in the church to molest, rape, and sexually assault them. Child sex abuse is an act of violence that can leave lasting emotional and psychological scars. Many victims suppress the memories and/or wait years to speak up about what happened out of fear and shame. It is only in the last several years when the Catholic sex abuse scandal became exposed as a huge problem occurring in countries around the world that the church has begun to take more action against such crimes. For years, the church would just move offending priests to other parishes where they would go on to molest more children.

Clergy sex abuse continues to happen. Vatican officials say that it knows of at least 612 incidents of clerical sexual abuse in 2012. Minors were involved in 418 of these cases.

Contact our Boston injury law firm today.

Vatican Comes Under U.N. Scrutiny Over Priest Abuse Scandal, NPR, January 16, 2014

U.N. Panel Grills Vatican on Sex-Abuse Cases, The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2014

Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States, BishopAccountability.org

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