Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy paedophiles
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC News
Posted: July 22nd, 2014
Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that "about 2%" of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles. The Pope said that abuse of children was like "leprosy" infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper. He vowed to "confront it with the severity it demands". Until now, the Vatican has declined to quantify the extent of clerical sexual abuse scandals in the worldwide Church. Statistics are usually available only for countries in the developed world. In the developing world, information is usually only sketchy. In the interview, Pope Francis was quoted as saying that the 2% estimate came from advisers. It would represent around 8,000 priests out of a global number of about 414,000. While the incidence of paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder in the general population is not accurately known, some estimates have put it at less than five percent. "Among the 2% who are paedophiles are priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, more numerous, know but keep quiet. They punish without giving the reason," Pope Francis was quoted as saying. "I find this state of affairs intolerable," he went on. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi denied that Pope Francis had said that there were cardinals who were paedophiles. Asked in the same La Repubblica interview about the celibacy rule for priests, Pope Francis recalled that it was adopted 900 years after the death of Jesus Christ and pointed out that the Eastern Catholic Church allows its priests to marry.
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