Vatican officials confirmed, under heavy scrutiny at the United Nations Sub Commitee on Cross Dressing held in Geneva this week, that almost 400 priests had their dresses, blouses and other items of female clothing, removed from them by the former Pope Benedict XI, during 2011 and 2012. Cardinal Benneton, representing the Vatican at the Committee, was keen to stress that the Church had taken a much harder line on cross dressing in recent years. Under fierce questioning, he had to concede that the Church had previously adopted a policy of simply moving transvestite priests on, generally to Parishes located a significant distance from the nearest department store. There were numerous examples however, of such Priests simply carrying on their cross dressing activities, albeit in much more dowdy clothing.
Cardinal Bennetton refused to be drawn on whether the Churches policy of issuing colourful and gaudy vestments to its Priests gave the wrong message in the first place, and effectively encouraged transvestites towards the Catholic faith. The Cardindal disputed this, stating firmly that the main attraction for most men entering the priesthood was the ease of access it gave them to the children of vulnerable and deluded believers.