Pope Benedict surprised the world on Monday by announcing he will resign at the end of the month. The pontiff said he was too infirm to carry on.
The Vatican has confirmed reports that former Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for child sex abuse in the last two years of his pontificate - a dramatic increase over previous years.
Less than a week before former Pope John Paul II is to be declared a saint, critics want answers about an abuse scandal involving an order of priests he had championed for years. The Vatican has refuted the claims.
Former Pope Benedict has denied accusations that he tried to cover up sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests. The denial was his first direct published comments since he stepped down in February.
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign from his post as head of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of the month. The pope cited his advanced age as the reason for the decision.
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