*** DEBUG END ***

Vatican seeks to clean its slate before UN Torture Committee

09 May 2014

THE Roman Catholic Church has laicised 848 priests for child abuse in the past ten years, a UN committee has heard.

The figure was revealed by a Vatican delegation on Tuesday as they sought to reassure the UN's Committee Against Torture that the Church was upholding its responsibilities to eradicate the sexual abuse of children.

The Vatican signed an international anti-torture treaty in 2002, but this is the first time that the UN has interrogated the Church over its response to child abuse on the grounds that such abuse amounts to torture.

"There's no climate of impunity: there's total commitment to clean the house, to work to not have a repetition of abuses," the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, the Most Revd Silvano Tomasi CS, told the committee.

Archbishop Tomasi also said that the Church had punished a further 2572 priests since 2004 for child abuse. They had been banned from public ministry and most had been required to take up a life of penance and prayer.

The Vatican delegation also said that the practice of transferring abusing priests to other parishes had been ended, and that the Church had paid out almost £1.5 billion in compensation to victims since 1950.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)