The Catholic Church has received worldwide condemnation over its handling of Catholic priest sex abuse. Over the past few years, it has been revealed that thousands of victims have been abused and the church has protected the abusing priest. Now, according to an interview with Pope Francis, the number of pedophile priests could be as high as 8,000.
During an interview with the Italian La Repubblica newspaper, Pope Francis was quoted as saying that “about 2 %” of clergy in the Catholic Church are pedophiles.” The pope went on to state, “Among the 2% who are pedophiles are priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, more numerous, know but keep quiet. They punish without giving the reason.”
Currently, the Catholic Church has an estimated 414,000 priests and the Pope’s statement would mean that roughly 8,000 could be pedophiles. In addition to this statement, Pope Francis restated his commitment to handling sexual abuse by the clergy. The Vatican however has responded that the Pope’s statements were not an official interview. Papal spokesman Federico Lombardi stated that no recording device was used and the Pope did not check the accuracy of the interview before publication. The conversation took place last week and the La Repubblica devoted three pages to coverage of the conversation between Pope Francis and editor Eugenio Scalfari. The interview can be found by following the English version of La Repubblica.