Catholic priest sacked for saying children are to blame for peadophilia

A Catholic priest has been sacked for saying that children are sometimes to blame for paedophilia.

Father Flaim's comments as Pope Francis leads the synod on the family.Reuters

Father Gino Flaim made the comments in an interview with an Italian television channel yesterday where he said that he understood how priests succumbed to paedophilia but thought that homosexuality was a sickness. The remarks come as Pope Francis presides over a three week synod to discuss the family.

"I can understand paedophilia," the 75-year-old priest said.

"I've been in lots of schools and I know children. Unfortunately there are some children who look for affection because they don't get it at home. And perhaps if they find a priest (in whom to confide)... he might succumb. And I understand this," he told La7, an Italian television channel.

Asked whether some children were at fault for inciting paedophilia, he replied: "For the large part, yes".

Flaim, from San Giuseppe parish in the northern Italian city of Trento, added that he believed homosexuality was a "sickness."

Having been a priest for nearly 50 years, the Catholic Church was quick to distance itself from his comments.

"We disassociate ourselves completely from the remarks made by this priest," the archdiocese of Trento said in a statement. "He expressed views which do not represent in any way the position of the archdiocese."

Flaim's comments came as the Vatican synod, headed by Pope Francis, discusses issues surrounding the family such as divorce, abortion and homosexuality in addition to poverty and threats to the environment.

However the summit has been overshadowed by a series of controversies and Flaim's comments are just the latest. The day before Pope Francis opened the synod, a senior Vatican official came out as gay.

Krzystof Charamsa, who has a Spanish boyfriend, criticised what he called the "institutionalised homophobia in the Church."

The Polish priest claimed a majority of Catholic priests were gay and within hours, Charamsa was dismissed from his post.

The synod has pitched consersatives, who maintain that homosexuality is an "intrinsic disorder" against more open cardinals who want to welcome gay Catholics without endorsing same-sex unions.