The Catholic Church has been rocked as more and more allegations of sexual abuse of minors come out. The response of the Catholic Church hierarchy has been nothing short of horrifying: protecting the abusers, paying off the victims for their silence, and moving the abusers to different diocese and a whole new set of victims.
So it would behoove all Catholic spokespeople and Catholic publications to have a heightened sensitivity about the issues surrounding the sexual abuse of minors.
Enter Father Benedict Groeschel, director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. In an interview (since taken down) with the National Catholic Register, Father Groeschel expressed sympathy for convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky and said that often, it's the youngster that is the 'seducer'. No, really:
[Interviewer]: Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?
[Father Groeschel]: A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. 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.
[Interviewer]: Why would that be?
[Father Greoschel] [sic]: 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. It'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.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Father Groeschel really ought not be in a position of 'spiritual development' nor giving interviews, because that's one humongous hole he just dug for himself.