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Published On: Sat, Mar 16th, 2013

South Africa: Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier says ‘pedophilia is not a crime’

One of the 115 cardinals who elected Pope Francis I as the 266th pontiff last Wednesday has come out with some strong and perhaps controversial statements about pedophilia , according to a BBC radio interview Friday.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier Image/Video Screen Shot

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier
Image/Video Screen Shot

The Archbishop of Durban in South Africa, Wilfrid Fox Napier said that pedophilia is a “psychological disorder” and not a crime during the interview.

“What is pedophilia? It is condition, it’s a psychological condition, it’s a disorder”, the Cardinal asked. “What do you do with disorders?”

The 72-year-old Napier says it’s one thing to choose to break the law, then that person should be punished; however, pedophilia is an illness, not a criminal condition.

He recalls in the interview about two priests that “became” pedophiles after being abused as children.

“Don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that”, he said.

“I don’t think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged”, Napier said to the surprise of the interviewer.

This comes a month after Pope Benedict XVI sought immunity for the mishandling and “cover-up” of  child sex crimes.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

Displaying 5 Comments
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  1. WHEN I SAW THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE, I WAS READY TO GIVE “MAJOR KUDOS” TO Archbishop Wilfrid Fox Napier. IT WOULD HAVE MEANT A LOT TO “god-fearing” SUPPORTERS OF BOY/MAN LOVE TO HAVE HAD HIS ENDORSEMENT.

    WHY, Robert Herriman, DID YOU LATER WRITE THE ARCHBISHOP THINKS BOY/MAN LOVERS HAVE A MENTAL IMPAIRMENT? ….. Mr. Herriman, YOU HAD ME!

    IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES – WHEN JOURNALISTS LACK CREDIBILITY – IT IS SILLY TO “DRAW READERS IN” WITH “CATCHY” AND FALSE HEADLINES. SHAME, Mr. Herriman.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  2. Paedophilia is a vile crime, not a psychological illness. It is also a Biblically condemned sin of sexual immorality and cowardice. Paedophiles are thoroughly condemned to Hell, as testified to by the irrefutable Book of Revelations in the Bible.

    • “Miss Janet Brooks,”

      ALTHOUGH I AM ATHEIST, I CAN TELL YOU WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, THERE IS NO MENTION IN Book of Revelations OF BOY/MAN LOVERS – OR, AS YOU TYPE, paedophiles – GOING TO “hell.” AS AN ATHEISTIC HOMOSEXUAL, I FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE Leviticus Verse WHICH CONDEMNS HOMOSEXUALITY. BUT, SINCE I AM ATHEIST, I KNOW “heaven” AND “hell” ARE IMAGINARY PLACES – SO, I AM NOT CONCERNED.

      CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  3. Sue Lilly says:

    It may well be that Napier is correct in his assessment, but in that case why are people with that psychological disorder allowed to become priests? If the church allows people with that type of psychological disorder to become priests, they have to take responsibility for it.

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