Pensioner Pope Benedict XVI de-frocked 500 priests while in office, Vatican sources admitted. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi initially said the AP report was rubbish.
The latest statistics reveal the number of priests defrocked in 2011 and 2012 was more than double the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009.
The Vatican also sent another 400 cases to either be tried by a Church tribunal or to be possibly burned at the stake.
De-Frocker Benedict, who was elected in 2005, took the helm as the scandal of child sex abuse by priests was noticed by churchgoers. Paedophile Jimmy Savile surprisingly did not seem to have noticed groping possibilities at the Catholic Church, but sources say he was never far behind a vulnerable behind.