Pope Francis recently said that 2 percent
of priests are pedophiles, but that number may actually be "much higher," says Wendy Patrick, the Deputy District Attorney for San Diego County.
"Statistics in this arena are particularly dangerous for a variety of reasons," Patrick told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV
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"The first and most important reason is that they only reflect the number of people who get caught," she explained.
"We have no idea how many people, how many pedophiles are actually in, whether we're talking about the clergy or any other profession because it's really hard to detect a crime that is so severely underreported," she added.
"A lot of people believe that the actual figure is much higher," Patrick said.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
(SNAP) responded saying that the number is significantly higher — well over 5 percent.
"The Vatican's fighting back and explaining, 'Well, the Pope relied on advisers that are giving him these statistics,'" Patrick said. "'He's not a statistician, he's got other things that he's involved with other than making sure that these quotes are accurate.'"
Patrick commended Pope Francis for being "very strong" and being "aware of what victims need."
She says that what child abuse "victims want is justice — they want perpetrators brought to justice."
"One of the things that Pope Francis said along those lines is that basically . . . 'all roads are going to lead to Rome on this one,'" Patrick said.
"He's going to be made aware of what's going on in the different areas of the world, and it really is a culture of transparency that he's been trying to really put it into practice," she said.
"He's doing a good job of that, and a lot of the victims' families here are saying, 'this is definitely a step in the right direction to protect our kids,'" Patrick added.
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