Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier believes that pedophilia is not a crime, but merely an illness, according to what he told BBC Radio 5 this weekend. And his stance on this issue has stirred up a lively debate online that’s sure to go viral.
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier is a South African who helped elect Pope Francis just last week. But now, he’s making headlines himself, suggesting that those who are accused or convicted of being pedophiles aren’t actual criminals, but merely people who have a mental illness.
"From my experience, pedophilia is actually an illness. It's not a criminal condition, it's an illness," he said.
The Cardinal’s stand on this issue apparently comes from personal experience. He says that in his life, he’s seen priests become pedophiles after they were abused as children themselves.
"Now don't tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don't think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged."
Napier was one of a whopping 115 Cardinals who helped elect Pope Francis last week.
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