Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’
Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile. Francis I pledges to
drive out the 'leprosy' of child abuse from the Church.
Pope Francis has revealed
that “reliable data” collected by the Vatican suggests that one in every 50
members of the Catholic clergy is a paedophile.
Speaking in an interview with
La Repubblica, the Pope said his advisers had tried to “reassure” him that paedophilia
within the Church was “at the level of two per cent”.
He pledged that he would
drive away the “leprosy” of child abuse that was infecting the “house” of
“I find this state of affairs
intolerable,” he said.
Pope Francis said his advisers
at the Vatican
had given him the 2 per cent estimate, which included “priests, bishops and
He also warned of much
greater figures for people who were aware of the existence of abuse – sometimes
within their own families – but who stayed silent because of corruption or fear.
His comments came a week
after the Pope met with six victims of clerical paedophilia to apologise for
their abuse at the hands of priests.
The meeting, with six British,
Irish and German Catholics, was designed to acknowledge the gravity of the
Church’s guilt and complicity.
Despite Pope Francis’s
popularity, there has been criticism of him for failing to take a high-profile
stand against the global paedophilia scandal.
His predecessor, Benedict XVI,
met with victims of sexual abuse by priests, in Washington in 2008. He then met with victims
in Australia, Germany, Malta
and the UK.
In February and May, critical
reports released by two separate UN committees condemned the Church’s “code of
silence” on paedophile priests. It said this silence was allowing known sex
offenders to continue working with children.
One in 50 Priests is a Pedophile: Pope Francis4.55SEEKER Wednesday, 24 February 2016 Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile. Francis I pledges to drive out the 'leprosy' of ...