In a recent interview with the Stephen Nolan program on BBC Radio 5 live, South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier shared an interesting position on pedophiles, surely prompted by the child abuse scandals rocking his rarefied above-the-law world.
What do you do with disorders? You've got to try and put them right.Well thank you for that deep insight, there, priest. Who knew that it would take someone not in their right mind to diddle the little children. These victims of themselves are to be pitied, given a bit of counseling and sent on their way to the next parish. Heaven forfend they should be in anyway held accountable for scarring a human being for the remainder of their lives.
If I - as a normal being - choose to break the law, knowing that I'm breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished.
Now don't tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don't think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged.
The article goes on to quote Barbara Dorries who herself was a victim of a non-criminal priest and now runs Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). She had some choice words for Napier.
If it is a disease that's fine, but it's also a crime and crimes are punished, criminals are held accountable for what they did and what they do.I would be very curious to know what actions Cardinal Napier himself was involved in to cover up crimes. It is not a stretch to assume that, given the opportunity, he would have gone to great lengths to shelter pedophiles from the law. Will the Vatican denounce Napier's stated position? Perhaps. Will we see him investigated by authorities outside of the Vatican? Very doubtful.
The bishops and the cardinals have gone to great lengths to cover these crimes to enable the predators to move on, to not be arrested, to keep the secrets within the church.
Just another day in the Catholic church.