In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Pope Francis admitted that “about 2 percent” of Catholic clergy members are pedophiles.
Out of a total number of about 414,000 catholic priests, this would mean that nearly 8,000 of the catholic clergy would have pedophile practices.
According to the same interview, the pope said that pedophilia was similar to a “leprosy” which affects the Catholic Church and vowed to confront it with the “severity” it requires. However, Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi did not confirm the accuracy of these statements.
Several scandals related to pedophilia have affected the Catholic Church in the past few years. Some say that Pope Benedict XVI resignation in 2013 was the result of his incapacity to address this problem. Last week, Pope Francis met with six victims of sexual abuse at the hands of catholic priests to apologize for what happened to them.