Cardinal Napier, who was among the 115 cardinals in the conclave at the Vatican that elected Pope Francis earlier this week, called paedophilia a “psychological disorder” on told BBC Radio 5 live.
He 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 paedophilia is actually an illness, it is not a criminal condition, it is an illness.”
For of course he is correct. Paedophilia is a miswiring of the “normal” sexual urges. And being so miswired is not more to be a criminal that to be covetous of the property of others is to be a criminal.
It’s what you do about it that might turn it into a crime: stealing is a crime, as is shagging 6 year olds. But to desire to do either isn’t. It’s the action, not the state, that is the crime.