Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy paedophiles


I’ll leave aside the rather simplistic understanding the article shows of the possibility of marriage for clergy throughout various Churches in Rome as the main point of the story is the Pope taking a determined stand against this major problem. I am glad to see there s a recognition of a culture of silence that enabled this problem to continue as that is a hopeful sign.

I agree JharekCarnelian, I do believe we have a 2-5% of our total clergy being pedophiles. I would like to see the exact quote or Vatican address on this comment. I too believe that only when we acknowledge the Truth or in this case our weakness we can move forward to defeat it.

Yet after hearing some stories in the media, there are some people that are convinced that 95-98% of clergy are pedophiles. Of course, this is nowhere near the case. The pedophile crisis and cover-up has been a huge scandal in the Church, but honestly, the percentage is about the same as the general population (and lower than teachers, psychiatrists, coaches, and even Protestant ministers - none of whom take vows of celibacy). That’s still obviously way too high (even one pedophile priest is way too high), but the only way the problem can be remedied is by first acknowledging the extent of the problem. The problem is not celibacy - it’s, plainly and simply, having a predatory relationship with people that see the predator as a person they can trust and feel obliged to obey.

At the same time, as any teacher can tell you, people accused of pedophilia are presumed guilty by the general public regardless of proof - and an unfounded accusation is enough to destroy a career. And I think this is what we really have to figure out - how do we make sure pedophile priests are no longer allowed to function as priests yet also protect innocent priests from unfounded accusations?

Fr. Lombardi’s Statement on ‘La Repubblica’ Article

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, issued the following statement this morning in relation to an article on Pope Francis published today in the Italian daily, La Repubblica:

"In the Sunday edition of “La Repubblica” an article by Eugenio Scalfari was prominently featured relating a recent conversation that took place with Pope Francis. The conversation was very cordial and most interesting and touched principally upon the themes of the plague of sexual abuse of minors and the Church’s attitude toward the mafia.

However, as it happened in a previous, similar circumstance, it is important to notice that that words that Mr. Scalfari attributes to the Pope, “in quotations” come from the expert journalist Scalfari’s own memory of what the Pope said and is not an exact transcription of a recording nor a review of such a transcript by the Pope himself to whom the words are attributed.

We should not or must not speak in any way, shape or form of an interview in the normal use of the word, as if there had been a series of questions and answers that faithfully and exactly reflect the precise thoughts of the one being interviewed.

It is safe to say, however that the overall theme of the article captures the spirit of the conversation between the Holy Fahter and Mr. Scalfari while at the same time strongly restating what was said about the previous “interview” that appeared in La Repubblica: the individual expressions that were used and the manner in which they have been reported, cannot be attributed to the Pope.

Let me state two particular examples. We must take into consideration two affirmations that have drawn much attention and that are not attributed to the Pope. The first is that among pedophiles are also “some cardinals”; and the second regarding celibacy: “I will find solutions.”

In the article published in La Repubblica, these two affirmations are clearly attributed to the Pope but curiously, the quotations were opened at the beginning but were not closed at the end. We must ask ourselves why the the final quotations are not present: is this an omission or explicit recognition that this is an attempt to manipulate some naïve readers?

On the NET:

La Repubblica article:


If I remember my research correctly, 2-5% is actually lower than the norm for the general population. Clergy and religious as a whole (i.e. of all faiths) normally have a lower rate of this than the general population.

Did he say it, didn’t he say it?

I really don’t think the pope is some dumb old idiot who keeps getting duped.

It’s like this:

"Scalfari: The Pope said x,dfasdlfhajdshfjkadsf

Lombardi: NO no no! The Pope said jdhfuihik

Pope: *gives yet another interview, keeps being misquoted(?)"

We’ve seen this 3 times now happen in precisely the same way. Disconcerting, yes. Unexpected, no.

The Pope is not stupid…

Yes, you are right to quote this “interviw” as a sign of hope that the Pope will now be active in rooting out this disease even at the highest level, recognising that the tragic silence will be no more. For the priesthood to continue there is a need for an unqualified faith that every child will be safe in their presence. Without this fundamental trust fewer men will join the priesthood and Christ’s arms will be tied. We as the ordinary men of the Church must pray as one that our leaders find the strength to rake out the stables.

It may be that they believe there are 95-98% POTENTIAL pedophiles. It’s hard to tell from the article exactly what the 2% are. 8,000 or so (out of 400k) is a pretty significant number.

That’s the really troubling thing about this. If the Pope has already been misquoted twice in such a way as to give scandal to the Church, from the same reporter for the same newspaper, why in the world would he give the third interview? If Scafari is misrepresenting the Pope, why does he keep getting opportunities to do so? If your eye offends you, pluck it out!

Right now, I’m starting to wonder if the Pope has actually been misrepresented in these interviews at all. I mean, granted, the memory of a 90-year-old reporter is a little suspect even if he wasn’t a leftist atheist trying to push an agenda directly opposed to that of the Church. Still, though, why does he keep getting hour-long interviews instead of ten-second sound bites?

I have to agree with you there. There’s no way we should be placing the word “only” before the 2% figure (not that I’ve seen this done in this particular thread or relating to this news story). That’s about one in 50. The last Chrism Mass I attended must have had 100-200 priests meaning there were four pedophiles there. That’s quite a bit!

I saw this:


“Pope Francis has revealed that around one in every 50 Catholic priests is a paedophile.”

When stated in that way- it does seem very high?

I note this is from the Daily Fail which is not the most enlightened of British newspapers.

I wonder how this compares with other organisations/Educational establishments?

I’d like to know to things:

  1. Did the Pope say this?

  2. If the Pope did say that, was he speaking about the current situation, or the situation in the past when the vast majority of abuse took place?

It seems to me that the John J. Report found the 2-4% number, yet that was during the 60s-80s when abuse was at its peak. I pray and hope that abuse is now far, far less than 1-percent and dropping. Abuse should be zero-percent.

Looks like this may be another dead children in the septic tank story.

If the pope said this, we would know without a doubt, nobody seems to ask why lombardy is still spokesmen if he is censoring the guy who employs him.

No, the reality is that the pope informed the spokesmen that he was misinterpreted…obviously, why he keeps letting this happen, who knows, maybe he just doesn’t like to turn down a press interview.

Putting a percentage on this kind of thing is inappropriate and the article screams leftist bias, surprise…

My guess is that he was talking about the past problem the Church had with child molestation and that about 2% of the clergy were involved ,which is consistent with the Jay report and other investigations of this sorry period in Church’s history

Instead of asking ourselves why the quotation marks were not closed, how about if Fr. Lombardi simply asks the pope what he said?

Still, why does the pope allow Fr.Lombardy to censure him consistently? would he not have just informed him of what he really said? or does father Lombardy simply never speak to the pope in person?:shrug:

If he was not misquoted he would simply inform Fr.Lombardy…

I’m just as confused as you. Why not just let the Pope speak for himself? Personally, I’ll assume that what’s attributed to Pope Francis are his own words until he tells us otherwise.

What ever the rate of paedophila is in the Catholic Clergy, its too high if its anything above zero.

Having said that, the problem of sexual abuse by educators in public schools is estimated to be 10 times worse than the abuse that happened with clergy in the last five decades

Which begs the question: why the lack of focus by the msm on abuse in non-Catholic institutions?

Fr Johnathan Morris:

Folks…read the article. The “2%” are not out there, without anything being done. He’s talking about cases, that have been / are being dealt with. 1 abuser is too many, clergy or lay.


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