The Pope and ‘Paedophilia’. Letter in The Guardian (22 September 2010)

The Pope and ‘Paedophilia

Anthony Stadlen

Copyright © Anthony Stadlen 2010, 2020
[Letter in The Guardian, published 22 September 2010]


I was concerned to read that the pope (Report, 17 September) called ‘paedophilia’, meaning the sexual abuse of children by priests, an ‘illness’, whose ‘sufferers’ had ‘lost their free will’. This is the language of one of those ‘aggressive forms of secularism’ he rightly deplores: psychologism, indeed psychobabble. Its absurdity is shown by His Holiness’s also speaking of ‘penitence’. What kind of ‘illness’ calls for penitence?
 

Anthony Stadlen

London

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