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South African cardinal rejects 'homophobia' charge

April 12, 2013

South African Cardinal Wilfred Napier has defended himself against charges of “homophobia” by saying “I don’t know any homosexuals.”

Cardinal Napier drew critical media scrutiny in the days before the papal conclave, when he said that pedophilia is a medical condition that should be treated. In a hostile interview he clarified that statement:

When a paedophile acts out those urges and fantasies, it becomes a crime. But if he does not, it's a medical condition. It's not a crime to have it if you're not acting on it. Sexual abuse of children is what the crime is, not having the condition. The crime is living out the condition.

The cardinal said that if pedophiles are not treated they are likely to continue acting out their impulses, regardless of disciplinary action.

(Contrary to the interviewer’s claim, there is ample support for the cardinal’s belief that people who have been sexually abused are more likely to become abusers.)


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