In Sheep’s Clothing: The Cardinal That Says Pedophilia Is Not A Crime

By N Mark Castro



Just when the entire Christendom rejoiced in the election of the new Bishop of Rome ushering hope and the rejuvenation of the Catholic Church, comes now the perplexing remarks of Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Catholic Archbishop of Durban, that, and I quote:

“Pedophilia is actually an illness. It’s not a criminal condition, it’s an illness.”

He did not qualify his statements. He did not measure his statements. He did not even rectify his statements.

Instead, he provided justification for errant priests that have been accused — some found guilty — of sexually assaulting and/or abusing children, forever transforming their innocence to a tragic memory.


Cardinal Napier, who was among the 115 cardinals in the conclave at the Vatican that elected Pope Francis, further said:

What do you do with disorders? You have got to try and put them right. If I as a normal being choose to break the law knowing that I am breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished… From my experience pedophilia is actually an illness, it is not a criminal condition.

So what do we do now?

Release, transfer, pardon any and all person or persons found guilty of such a heinous crime?

Remember, Cardinal Napier is not merely a religious authority, he is also a political one since The Vatican is considered a sovereign state as well. On top of that, he is one of those that elected Pope Francis.

Hence, can Pope Francis truly initiate reforms? Can he lead the Church to a more enlightened path?


Perhaps by looking into the allegiances of Pope Francis, it could give light to where the Church is headed, and who the players would be.

As John Allen, Jr. reported:

Cardinal Bergoglio, who would later become Pope Francis, became close to the Comunione e Liberazione movement founded by Italian Fr. Luigi Giussani, sometimes speaking at its massive annual gathering in Rimini, Italy.

So what is Comunione e Liberazione?

Present in 80 countries, Comunione e Liberazione is not as visible as the ultra conservative and highly influential Opus Dei or the Legionaries of Christ. Its lack of visibility is ironic, since when compared to these two organizations, Comunione e Liberazione is far less secretive and its membership is far more open and flexible.

Comunione e Liberazione has been subject to intrigue, especially in commentaries among Italian journalists.

In his 2011 book La Lobby di Dio (God’s Lobby), Ferruccio Pinotti argues that:

Comunione e Liberazione is “more powerful than Opus Dei, more well-oiled than freemasonry, and more ‘plugged in’ than Confindustria, Italy’s manufacturer’s association.”

La Repubblica‘s editor, Eugenio Scalfari, has been quoted as saying:

“Not even the Mafia has so much power. In hospitals, healthcare, universities …”

Pope Francis via AFP

Whether Pope Francis will have better luck than his predecessor in evangelizing Europe remains questionable, especially given the church’s track record in his native land.

Although Cardinal Bergoglio encouraged his flock to join political campaigns against same-sex marriage, Argentina became the first Latin American country to pass marriage equality in 2010. And as The Associated Press reported, while Argentina’s 33 million Catholics account for more than two-thirds of the country’s population, fewer than 10 percent attend Mass regularly.

Comunione e Liberazione‘s organization and ideology may be mighty in Italy, but time will tell whether it can achieve global influence — and what role Pope Francis might play in wielding it.

With an affable face, a genuinely frugal lifestyle, Pope Francis is the Church’s latest hope in fostering peace among the faithful, and lead the Christians back to the essence of God’s teaching.

As for Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, all I could think of is this —


About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on March 17, 2013, in General, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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Anthropologist & Contemporary Historian of Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia


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