GENEVA (AP) — The Vatican has released comprehensive statistics for the first time on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children: It says 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade.
The Vatican's U.N. ambassador to Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, revealed the figures during a second day of grilling Tuesday by a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the U.N. treaty against torture.
Tomasi insisted the convention applied only inside the tiny Vatican City State. He nevertheless released statistics about how the Holy See has adjudicated abuse cases globally — and acknowledged that sexual abuse involving children "can be considered torture."
Previously, the Holy See has released inconsistent data on defrockings in its annual yearbook. Tomasi's figures provided the first year-by-year breakdown.