Every once in a great while, a high-ranking Catholic priest or Bishop will make a mistake and say what they really believe. Given the Catholic church’s long, long history of molesting children and then covering it up, we are inclined to believe that Father Groeschel meant what he said – until he realized that he was verbalizing his private thoughts and then scrambled to issue the “apology”. Good luck putting that cat ‘back in the bag’…
From Yahoo News: The interview, billed as a reflection on the 25 years since Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal order, covered many topics, but Groeschel’s comments on child sexual abuse brought it national attention.
“Well, it’s not so hard to see. A kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping, but not having intercourse or anything like that. I’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers,” Groeschel was quoted as saying.
Quotes from the interview remained posted on websites including the National Catholic Reporter, the Huffington Post, and the Catholic blog Renew America, all of which criticized Groeschel for the remarks.
Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter called the comments “particularly disturbing” because of Groeschel’s background in psychology. He received a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.
“(The comments) cannot stand unchallenged,” Roberts wrote. Groeschel could not be reached for comment. Representatives for the National Catholic Register and EWTN did not immediately return calls for comment.
Groeschel had also commented on recently-convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach convicted of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Defends Jerry Sandusky
“Here’s this poor guy — Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well, you know, until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things,” Groeschel said.
He also said that he did not think priests or lay people should go to jail based on a first offense of sexual behavior with young children.
“At this point, (when) any priest, any clergyman, any social worker, any teacher, any responsible person in society would become involved in a single sexual act — not necessarily intercourse — they’re done. And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.”
Priest issues apology
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on the Catholic television network EWTN, originally made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a “poor guy.”
“People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer,” Groeschel was quoted as saying in the interview, which is no longer available on the paper’s website.
The interview has now been replaced by a statement from Fr. Benedict:
“I apologize for my comments,” it said. “I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.” source – Yahoo News/GMA