Roman Catholic priest and psychologist Father Benedict Groeschel works at a center that has “treated” priests that are sexual predators. In an interview with the National Catholic Register, he suggests that child victims of sexual abuse are sometimes the aggressors. He also seems to sympathize with Jerry Sandusky. Here are some of the gems from his interview:
“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.”
“Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years.”
“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.” [The American Conservative]
The editor of the National Catholic Register has apologized for publishing the comments. Because, really, the problem lies in the fact that someone published the words, not that an iconic priest feels that way.
Child sexual abuse is never excusable. The editors of the National Catholic Register apologize for publishing without clarification or challenge Father Benedict Groeschel’s comments that seem to suggest that the child is somehow responsible for abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our publication of that comment was an editorial mistake, for which we sincerely apologize. Given Father Benedict’s stellar history over many years, we released his interview without our usual screening and oversight. We have removed the story. We have sought clarification from Father Benedict.
Jeanette R. De Melo
Editor in Chief