(Agence France-Presse) South African cardinal who helped elect Pope Francis said on Saturday that pedophilia is a psychological illness, not “a criminal condition”.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, told BBC radio that people who become paedophiles after being abused as children should be treated by doctors.

His comments come as Francis, the first pontiff to hail from Latin America, takes the helm of a Catholic Church rocked by thousands of cases of child abuse by paedophile priests.

Napier, who was among the 115 cardinals who elected Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, told the BBC: “From my experience pedophilia is actually an illness — it is not a criminal condition.”

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