Abuse within the church is horrific, but equally as appalling is the idea that the victims are to blame.
Excerpts from article at The Christian Century website.
Prominent priest blames sex victims, says first-time abusers shouldn’t face jail
c. 2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children “on their first offense” should not go to jail.
He added that in “a lot of cases,” the child is “the seducer.”
The New York-based Franciscan also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in a scandal that rocked college football and dominated the news much as the clergy crisis has.
Groeschel’s comments, in an interview published Tuesday (Aug. 28) by the National Catholic Register, spread like wildfire around the Internet after they were reported by Religion News Service, and they prompted comparisons to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial remarks about “legitimate rape” and abortion….
In the interview, Groeschel, a trained psychologist, said he has worked with many priests who have abused children and said they are not “psychopaths.”
“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 said.
He said the cases were “almost romantic” and said the sexual contact often did not include penetration.
Groeschel went on to call Sandusky “this poor guy” and wondered why the victims — the boys were often raped by Sandusky — did not report the crimes.
“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,” Groeschel added.
“And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.”…
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