Bishop Felipe Arizmendi, a prominent member of the Catholic Church from San Cristobal de las Casas, southern Mexico, was at a meeting with other bishops when he is reported
to have said the following-
With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it's not easy to stay celibate or to respect children. If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste. Obviously when there is generalised sexual freedom it's more likely there could be cases of paedophilia.
Arizmendi also suggested that sex education
in schools makes it more difficult for priests to maintain their vows, prompting the Mexican Association for Sexual Health to respond with the following statement-
Those of good conscience in the church should stop this absurdity and find good help. Blaming the problems that the Roman Catholic Church has had with priests' sexually abusing minors on sex education makes no sense.
Mexican Education Secretary Alonso Lujambio
has also spoken out in defence of sex education by stating that pupils require information if they are to be responsible in their actions.
Arizmendi's comments have come to light as Pope Benedict visits Malta where it is believed the 83-year-old may meet
victims of abuse committed by clergy within the Roman Catholic Church.
The bishop joins other senior figures within the Roman Catholic Church who have recently been connected with controversial statements or actions regarding child abuse. On Monday Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
, the Vatican's Secretary of State, told a news conference in Chile that homosexuality was more likely to lead to paedophilia than celibacy. Bertone stated-
Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia.
Earlier this week, a letter
emerged that caused further controversy for the Vatican. It revealed that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a senior figure within the Roman Catholic Church, had praised and congratulated a Bishop in France for refusing to denounce a priest who had admitted child abuse. The priest, Pierre Pican
, was eventually sentenced to 18 years in jail for his crimes, which included the repeated rape of one boy and abuse of 10 others. The Vatican have confirmed the letter was authentic.