Former Pope Benedict XVI has defrocked nearly 400 priests in just two years over claims of child abuse, the Vatican confirmed.
The confirmation came after the Vatican collected data for a UN hearing to help the Holy See defend itself against the worldwide child sex abuse scandal, the BBC reports.
The Holy See is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a legally binding instrument which commits it to protecting and nurturing the most vulnerable in society.
The representatives of the Holy See were questioned in public for the very first time on cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy around the world at a UN hearing in Geneva on Thursday.
According to the report, the Vatican also sent another 400 cases to either be tried by a Church tribunal or to be dealt with administratively.
The latest statistics revealed that the number of priests defrocked in 2011 and 2012 was more than double the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009.