ITALY – The Italian archdiocese has suspended a Catholic priest after he defended pedophilia in a live television interview and blamed victims for “seeking affection”.
The archdiocese of Trento suspended Don Gino Flaim from his parish in the city, after Flaim said in live remarks to the La7 TV channel on Tuesday: “I can understand pedophilia.”
“I know what children are like and, unfortunately, there are children who seek affection because they don’t get it at home.”
“They may find a priest who, well, gives in, and I can understand this,” Flaim told La7.
“Pedophilia is a sin and like all sins must be accepted,” Flaim said, adding that he “did not have direct experience” of it.
Like homosexuality, pedophilia was an “illness” that people “suffered” from, Flaim said.
“It’s only human,” Flaim added.
After Flaim’s comments to La7, the archdiocese of Trento issued a statement on its website distancing itself from the remarks and announcing the priest’s suspension.
“The Archdiocese of Trento dissociates itself entirely from Don Gino Flaim’s declarations … which expressed views that in no way represent the position of the Archdiocese … Don Flaim has been suspended,” read the statement.