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Pope Benedict Defrocked 400 Priests for Child Molestation
Written by Phyllis Smith
Last updated on January 18, 2014 @ 11:43PM
Created on January 18, 2014 @ 11:59AM

While the Catholic Church has been criticized for it's handling of allegations of sex abuse involving priests and children, according to the Associated Press, one Pope took extraordinary measures to try to stop it.

In just two years, Pope Benedict got rid of nearly 400 priests. This is a pretty dramatic rise. From 2008 to 2009, only 171 priests were removed.

The church has been criticized for not just covering up a vast number of abuses by priests, but for protecting them from law enforcement. Instead of being referred to authorities, the accusations were handled in-house.

The protection of the church allowed priests who abused children to be moved to other parishes or at worst be defrocked. They rarely faced jail time. Advocates for survivors of clergy sex abuse reacted said it's about time more actions were taken.

"Four hundred of them? I'm surprised it took them this long. You have to think about how those kids are looking at the church now," said  Shaquille Shelton, a former youth pastor. 

While Benedict has been seen as less charismatic than the Pope before him, and the current Pope, he was aggressive in pushing for justice when it came to child molestation within the church.

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