Aug 30, 2012

Friar: Priests Are Victims of Sexually Abusive Teens

Um. Wow.

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said that teens act as seducers in some sexual abuse cases involving priests.

. . .

"People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath," Groeschel said. "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."

Pressed for clarification, the New York State-based religious leader explained that kids looking for father figures might be drawn to priests to fill an emotional hole in their lives.

Father Groeschel has a doctorate in psychology from Columbia but I can only assume that he hasn't cracked a book since he obtained it in 1971. He scoffs at notions like age of consent pointing to the long history of adult-adolescent "relationships" and seems blissfully unaware of the power dynamic between an adult authority figure and a young teen.

Making this story even more alarming, Groeschel still teaches "pastoral psychology" at St. Joseph's Seminary, where one presumes he warns seminarians about the dangers of seductive teens.

The interview was with the National Catholic Register, which is associated with the Legionaries of Christ -- an organization most famous for having hidden founder Marcial Maciel's deviancy and criminality for decades. The publication has since withdrawn the article and posted apologies. But a quick scan of the sidebar shows articles like this plea for fairness to the reputation of the Catholic Church. It's not only priests who abuse kids, you know!

Priests and the Church: Those are the real victims, folks. Oh, the injustice!

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