An Italian newspaper, La Republica quoted Pope Francis in an exclusive interview where he alleged that about two percent of Roman Catholic clerics are sexual abusers, adding that the pontiff considered the crime “a leprosy in our house”.
In an hour long exclusive interview with the newspaper’s founder, Eugenio Scalfari who is an atheist, the pontiff was quoted saying “Many of my collaborators who fight with me (against pedophilia) reassure me with reliable statistics that say that the level of pedophilia in the Church is at about two percent. “
“This data should hearten me but I have to tell you that it does not hearten me at all. In fact, I think that it is very grave,” He confirmed.
However the Vatican has debunked the statement in the article, saying that some parts released by the newspaper were not accurate including a part that quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals among the abusers.