The term, “Cardinal: pedophilia not a crime” became a trending news search this Monday morning after the CS Monitor reported this Monday, March 18, that a cardinal from South Africa who said that pedophilia is an illness — not a criminal condition — has since apologized for the statement, not meaning to offend any child abuse victims.
Under the headline, “Cardinal: pedophilia is not a crime, then says swift apology”, sources report that a South African cardinal has said in a new statement that he is sorry to have hurt child abuse victims after calling pedophilia an illness, rather than a crime, in a recent interview.
Several major groups for victims’ rights noted that the comment by the cardinal in question, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, was overtly insensitive. The remark that pedophilia is not a crime was especially “in poor taste” considering the viewpoint some see that the Catholic Church has not devoted enough time or energy to abuse reports in recent years against religious leaders.
"I apologize 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," Napier said in a statement.
The original “Cardinal: pedophilia is not a crime” comment was taken from a recent interview with Napier before the given apology:
"From my experience, pedophilia is actually an illness. It's not a criminal condition, it's an illness," he had stated.