As a result of describing paedophilia as an illness and not a crime in a media interview, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier the Catholic Archbishop of Durban (who was one of the 115 cardinals who took part in the Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francis), on Monday issued an apology to victims of child abuse. Apology ststement after the cut…..
“I apologise sincerely and unreservedly to all who were offended by the botched interview, and especially to those who have been abused and need every help and support that the Church can give,” said Napier in his statement .
Victims’ rights groups have expressed their concerns over the Catholic Archbishop’s comments to BBC Radio 5, by ruling they were insensitive, especially given the “perceived fact” that, the Catholic Church has not done enough to root out abuse.
“From my experience, paedophilia is actually an illness. It’s not a criminal condition, it’s an illness,”says Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier.
The Catholic Archbishop also told BBC of his knowledge of at least two priests who turned paedophiles after they were abused as children and therefore required treatment, not punishment.
“That’s when the wheels came off. I now stand accused of saying that paedophilia is a mental condition or disorder and not a crime,” Napier’s statement. He added;
“Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime among other things because of the damage it does to the child. In that concern I include the abused who has become an abuser.”
Consequential to these comments most took offence to them and wasted no time in making public statements; for instance, one prominent South African presenter, Justice Malala, named Napier “loser of the week” on his television show and said the Cardinal’s remarks were an embarrassment to Catholics.
What do you think? was the Cardinal right in any way or…?