So long as we’re talking about The Old, The Loud, and the Deluded (yes Clint, we’re still shaking our heads over you), try this one on:
A prominent Roman Catholic spiritual leader who has spent decades counseling wayward priests for the archdiocese provoked shock and outrage on Thursday as word spread of a recent interview he did with a Catholic newspaper during which he said that “youngsters” were often to blame when priests sexually abused them and that priests should not be jailed for such abuse on their first offense.
“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Father [Benedict] Groeschel, now 79, said in the interview. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, who made the remarks, is a beloved figure among many Catholics and a founder of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a conservative priestly order based in New York. He hosts a weekly show on the Eternal Word Television Network and has written 45 books.
The comments were published on Monday by The National Catholic Register, which is owned by EWTN, a religious broadcaster based in Alabama. — NYTimes
Now before you start gagging and screaming for heads to roll, the network and the archdiocese of New York denounced the comments, which were removed from the publication’s website. The news article quotes several priests and officials who noted, sadly, that Father G has been noticeably slipping with age, and while still a figure of considerable authority and renown, is no longer the bright light he was.
Sound familiar? So let’s show him some love. Some Christian compassion, if you will.
He also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, the retired Penn State football coach who was recently convicted of serial child molesting, calling him “this poor guy.”
That’s it. Cut off his oxygen.