A Paedophile (also spelled Pedophile) is an adult, usually male (though there have been and still are plenty of females as well, you just don't hear about it often enough), who is sexually attracted to children before puberty. Paedophile is sometimes used for people attracted juveniles just after puberty though the correct term for that is Hebephile.
Paedophiles are generally despised because child molesters can cause children serious physical and psychological harm. Not all paedophiles are criminals, some resist temptation to harm children. Only active paedophiles who mess with children or mess with child abuse images should be despised.
Common paedophile criminals
Offenders are more likely to be relatives or acquaintances of their victim than strangers. A 2006–2007 Idaho study of 430 cases found that 82% of juvenile sex offenders were known to the victims (acquaintances 46% or relatives 36%). More offenders are male than female, though the percentage varies between studies. The percentage of incidents of sexual abuse by female perpetrators that come to the attention of the legal system is usually reported to be between 1% and 4%. Studies of sexual misconduct in US schools with female offenders have shown mixed results with rates between 4% to 43% of female offenders. Maletzky (1993) found that, of his sample of 4,402 convicted pedophilic offenders, 0.4% were female. Another study of a non-clinical population found that, among those in the their sample that had been molested, as much as a third were molested by women. In U.S. schools, educators who offend range in age from "21 to 75 years old, with an average age of 28" with teachers, coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher's aides (in that order) totaling 69% of the offenders.
- Main article: Priest Child Molestation Scandal
The Priests of the Roman Catholic Church have become infamous in the last couple of decades for abusing children. The Catholic Church has made paedophilia its special disgrace in the modern World by covering up the untoward goings-on and generally turning a blind eye on the abuses that are going on. Only 4% of supposedly celibate priests are actually child abusers. A small portion of paedeophiles probably enter the celibate priesthood specifically because they expect the Church to cover for them after they have take vows of Celibacy under Catholic authority. That small proportion are Hypocrites and never intend to keep to celibacy.
There is also the scandal of Child sex abuse by Non-Catholic clergy and the world hasn't woken up to that yet.
A pedophile priest may have raped Adam Lanza when he was a kid and that might have contributed to the events of Sandy Hook. Lanza was 6 when he was regularly in the same area with a vicious abusive priest and his family attended the church where that
man of God criminal was based. Most of the priest's victims were six-year-old Roman Catholic children. 
Should child abusers be punished?
Most people would say obviously yes. The law should protect children from the type of damage that sex abuse causes. Still one cardinal has said that treatment for abusing paedophiles is more important than punishment.  and Cardinal Keith O'Brien said in 2006 paedophilia could be one step away from being decriminalised.  Does this show thinking in the Roman Catholic Church?
If paedophilia were no longer a crime those inclined that way would have far less incentive to resist temptation. Many/most child abusers were themselves abused as children and should get treatment as well as punishment. Still most victims of child sex abuse don't go on to abuse children themselves which suggests abusers are responsible for what they do.
The most unfortunate paedophiles can't help themselves and carry on abusing regardless of the risk to themselves or the children. That minority quite likely genuinely aren't responsible for their actions and a humane, liberal solution is to lock them away for long periods of time somewhere where the regime isn't punishing but where they can't get to children.
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