The leader of the Catholic Church Pope Francis I has been quoted as saying that about 2% (1 in 50), clergy men in the catholic church are paedophiles.
The Pope reportedly made the statement to an Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari who is Editor of Italian paper, La Repubblica during an interview which has been heavily criticised by the Vatican.
According to the BBC, s spokesman for the Vatican accused the paper of twisting the Pope’s words to mislead naive readers. He also states that the interview was nothing more than a conversation with the Pope as Mr Scalfari didn’t even have a recorder on him during the said interview.
The paper however, dedicated up to three pages in its daily to the exchange between both parties with Pope Francis reportedly vowing to rid the Catholic church of the ‘leprosy’ that is pedophilia.
The Catholic Church has come under fire in recent years after it emerged that the Church had been sitting on evidence that Clergy men abused boys in schools and in Churches around the world. Critics accused the Church of encouraging a culture of secrecy after complaints of abuse were swept under the carpet and the accused clergy were never really punished, with some simply moved around to avoid the scandals.
Since the start of his reign, Pope Francis has been taking steps to show the world that the Church is ready to tackle the shame.
In an effort to show empathy with victims of abuse, the Pope met with victims of abuse earlier this month and begged for forgiveness as he vowed to tackle the issue.
Even though there are reported cases of abuse in schools and churches globally, the Church has never officially quantified the scale until now.
According to the interview, The Pope is quoted as saying that his advisers have told him that they estimate about 2% of clergy to be involved in abuse.
“Among the 2% who are paedophiles are priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, more numerous, know but keep quiet. They punish without giving the reason,” he said.
He also added, “I find this state of affairs intolerable,” before stating that he intended to confront the problem ‘with the severity it deserves.”