The Holy See is corrupt and the Catholic Church must weed out “ill” priests who sexually abuse children, Pope Francis said in an interview, excerpts of which were published Thursday by Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
“There is corruption in the Vatican. But I am in peace,” Francis said in the interview with the new issue of Jesuit fortnightly magazine Civilta Cattolica.
“If there is a problem, I write a note to Saint Joseph and put under a statue of him that I have in my room,” he said.
“I have the statute of Saint Joseph asleep, and he now reposes on a mound of notes!”
Reform is high on the agenda at meetings of the Catholic Church’s cardinals, but not all of its members are working for the same goals as him, Francis suggested.
“The same sailors in St Peter’s boat can row in the opposite direction,” he said.
Asked about the worldwide scandal of child sex abuse by clergymen that has rocked the Catholic Church, Francis said: “The Devil is clearly in action here to ruin the work of Jesus.”
“But let’s be clear: this is an illness,” Francis stated.
The Catholic Church must root out paedophile priests and trainee priests through meticulous checks on their backgrounds and their “emotional maturity”, the pontiff said.