Local diocese responds to defrocking of 400 priests - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Local diocese responds to defrocking of 400 priests

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Newly revealed Vatican documents show the number of priests that were defrocked by Pope Benedict.

Those documents show that Benedict defrocked nearly 400 priests from 2011 to 2012.

That's a major increase over years past.

"The church has zero tolerance for it now," said Spokesperson for the Springfield Diocese Mark Dupont. 

Dupont says the church is now doing everything they can to report sex crimes and prevent them from happening.

He's responding to the release of documents that reveal just how many priests have been defrocked since 2011.

Earlier this week, the Vatican faced criticism from a united nations panel for their handling of priest sex abuse scandals.

Vatican officials admit they've been slow to face the truth, but they're now taking action.

Dupont agrees.

"The Catholic church has quite frankly done a good job in recent years of resolving these problems, putting in place practices and systems to protect young people."

Dupont says many of the allegations are decades old, in which victims are just now coming forward.

Allegations continue even here in Western Mass.

"We continue to receive complaints from victims, not of current priests but again of priests, many of whom are now deceased," Dupont said. 

Victims of priest sex abuse continue to speak out over alleged cover-ups and slow reaction.

Dupont says the problem needs to be gotten rid of not only in the Catholic church but in all parts of society.

"We need to look at some of the root causes of this and stop trying to scapegoat one institution versus another and really try to address what causes this terrible plague that continues to inflict on our society," Dupont said. 

Dupont also urges anyone that is a victim to come forward, even if the accused abuser is no longer a priest.

He says the Diocese has counseling and resources to help.

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