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.
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.
A UN committee has issued a report assessing Vatican policies concerning children in the wake of worldwide abuse scandals. It said it was "gravely concerned" about how the Church has handled the crisis.
The Vatican on Thursday faced a grilling by a UN panel over its failure to implement a UN child protection convention and its handling of sex abuse scandals. DW spoke to John Allen from the National Catholic Reporter.
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