“The idea that celibacy produces paedophiles can be forgotten,” he says. “If a priest is a paedophile, he is so before he becomes a priest. But when this happens you must never look away. You cannot be in a position of power and use it to destroy the life of another person.”
Bergoglio says he has never had to deal with such a case, but when a bishop asked what he should do, he told him the priest should be sacked and tried, that putting the church’s reputation first was a mistake.
“I think that is the solution that was once proposed in the United States; of switching them to other parishes,” he says. “That is stupid, because the priest continues to carry the problem in his backpack.” The only answer to the problem, he adds, is zero tolerance.