from bbc.co.uk: Close to 400 priests were defrocked in only two years by the former Pope Benedict XVI over claims of child abuse, the Vatican has confirmed. The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase compared to previous years, according to a document obtained by the Associated Press (AP). The file was part of Vatican data collected for a UN hearing on Thursday. It was the first time the Holy See was publicly confronted over the sexual abuse of children by clergy. Church officials at the hearing in Geneva faced a barrage of hard questions covering why they were withholding data and what they were doing to prevent future abuse. Victims' advocates complained there was still too little transparency.