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article imagePope Francis says about 2% of Catholic priests are paedophiles

By Ryan Hite     Jul 13, 2014 in World
Pope Francis is claimed to have said that about 2% of the clergy of the Catholic Church are pedophiles, but some Vatican insiders dispute the authenticity of the interview.
About two percent of Roman Catholic priests are sexual abusers, an Italian newspaper quoted Pope Francis as saying today, also saying that he considered the crime “a leprosy in our house”.
The Vatican issued a statement saying that some parts of a long article in La Repubblica were not accurate, including one that quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals among these abusers.
The article was a reconstruction of an earlier conversation between the pope and the newspaper’s founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist who has written about several encounters with the pope.
“Many of my collaborators who fight with me reassure me with reliable statistics that say that the level of pedophilia in the Church is at about two percent,” Francis was quoted as saying in the newspaper.
“This data should hearten me but I have to tell you that it does not hearten me at all. In fact, I think that it is very grave,” he was quoted as saying further.
The pope was quoted as saying that, while most pedophilia took place in some family situations, “even we have this leprosy in our house”.
According to Church statistics for 2012, there are 414,000 Roman Catholic priests in the world.
The Vatican issued a statement noting Scalfari’s tradition of having long conversations with public figures without ever taking notes or taping them, and then reconstructing them from memory. He is one of Italy’s best known journalists.
While acknowledging that the conversation had taken place, spokesman Federico Lombardi issued a statement saying that not all the phrases could be attributed “with certainty” to the pontiff.
Lombardi said that a quote attributed to the pope saying cardinals were among the sex abusers was not accurate and accused the paper of attempting to “manipulate naive readers”.
Last week, the pope held his first meeting with victims of sexual abuse.
He told them the Church would “weep and make reparation” for crimes that he said had taken on the characteristics of a cult. He vowed for no tolerance for abusers and said bishops would be held accountable if they covered up crimes by priests in their diocese.
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