One in 50 clerics are pedophiles, Pope Francis said in an interview published Sunday, in which he also hinted that the mandate of priestly celibacy may one day be lifted.
Francis condemned child sex abuse as a "leprosy" in the Church and cited his aides as saying that "the level of pedophilia in the Church is at two percent." That figure includes priests "and even bishops and cardinals," Italy's La Repubblica daily quoted Francis as saying.
The figure represents around 8,000 priests out of a global number of about 414,000, according to the latest statistics from the Vatican.
Pope Francis also promised "solutions" to the issue of priestly celibacy, the Italian publication reported, raising the possibility that the Catholic Church may eventually lift a ban on married priests.
Asked by the paper whether priests might one day be permitted to marry, Francis noted that celibacy was instituted "900 years after Our Lord's death" and that clerics can marry in some Eastern Churches under Vatican tutelage.
"There definitely is a problem but it is not a major one. This needs time but there are solutions and I will find them," Francis said, without giving further details.
TVNL Comment: Do the math/ Then look around.