Benedict oversaw slew of Bishop removals


Benedict oversaw slew of Bishop removals
By Noel Debien, ABC Radio Religion Unit
Record number of Bishops culled under Benedict Photo: Pope Benedict oversaw the removal of two percent of the world’s bishops, the ABC has revealed. (AFP: Filippo Monteforte)
External Link: Noel Debien’s blog on the Bishop removals
Related Story: Date set for conclave to elect new pope
Map: Holy See (Vatican City State)

Pope Benedict oversaw the highest rate of removal of bishops for sexual misconduct ever recorded by the Catholic Church, the ABC’s religion unit has revealed.

The former pontiff removed at least one bishop a month, accounting for 2 per cent of the world’s bishops.

The list obtained by the ABC’s Religion Unit includes 50 bishops who lost their jobs over breaches of celibacy or alleged sexual assaults.

Forty per cent of those bishops were forced to resign after having sexual relations with women – and many fathered children.

A significant number were accused of rape and sexual assaults.

Relations with boys and men, including other members of the clergy, make up the rest of the list.

Two African priests were removed during Pope Benedict’s pontificate for allowing priests to live openly with their de-facto wives and their children.

Cardinals begin their conclave to decide on a successor to Pope Benedict in Rome on Tuesday.

Topics: catholic, sexual-offences, holy-see-vatican-city-state
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