It is Shameful to Claim that Paedophilia is NOT a Crime

Newly elected Pope Francis is given a yellow Catholic faith bracelet following a meeting at the Vatican

This comment does no good for the Catholic institution and the cardinal should be in the very least disciplined for his misguided comments:

A South African cardinal who helped elect Pope Francis has described paedophilia as a psychological illness and not ‘a criminal condition’.

The Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, told BBC Radio 5 live that people who were abused as children and became paedophiles were not criminally responsible for their actions in the same way as somebody ‘who chooses to do something like that’.

Cardinal Napier, who was among the 115 cardinals in the conclave at the Vatican that elected Pope Francis earlier this week, called paedophilia a ‘psychological disorder.

And just three days into the new role, the pope and the Catholic Church are now faced with fresh child abuse controversy after the cardinal’s remarks.

He said: ‘What do you do with disorders? You have got to try and put them right.

‘If I as a normal being choose to break the law knowing that I am breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished…

‘From my experience paedophilia is actually an illness, it is not a criminal condition, it is an illness.’

The cardinal spoke of two priests he knew who were abused as children and went on to become paedophiles.

He told the BBC: ‘Don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that.


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2 Responses to “It is Shameful to Claim that Paedophilia is NOT a Crime”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Whether it is an illness or not makes little difference; children must be protected from such people. A kleptomaniac is well advised to steer clear of shops, an alcoholic is well advised to steer clear of drink and a pedophile is well advised to steer clear of children.

    When I was 11 I was with my younger sister and a friend playing on the shores of a lake near our home. As we left on our way home we walked past a tent where there was a middle-aged man and a group of young boys, about our age. He began talking to us and telling us how he was running a club teaching skills like boxing and swimming. He showed us newspaper clippings with reports and photos about how he swam around the lake with his hands and feet tied.

    I don’t know what it was but none of it seemed to me to be kosher and I got a very uneasy feeling about it all so I urged the other two that we should go home. When my father came home I told him about it. He said, “Keep away from that man.”

    About a week later he showed us a newspaper with a story about how this man had been locked up for offences against children. I consider we had a lucky escape.

    This man knew what he was doing. He knew it was wrong. He justified it to himself by disguising it as a service for children. If it’s an illness I know of a medical procedure that might fix it. If that fails I believe the remedy is at the end of a rope.

    Children are taught protective behaviours at school. However, children are naturally curious and liable to take an attractively presented bait just as they are prone to ignore other parental and educational admonitions.

    If children who are abused grow up to become abusers we have a double motive for preventing the abuse and for dealing drastically with the offenders.

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