Editorial: Children, not priests, are the only victims here


By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Old age is a handy bunker for people who want to escape responsibility for their ideas. Take the Rev. Benedict Groeschel. The 79-year-old Groeschel, a spiritual leader in the Roman Catholic Church, took refuge in his age after an incendiary interview Monday with the National Catholic Register, in which he blamed the victims of pedophile priests:

“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” Groeschel said. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

Groeschel added he was “inclined to think” priests who were first-time abusers had no intention of committing a crime, and therefore deserved no jail time. He also uttered a few words of pity for Jerry Sandusky.

What makes this all the more sickening is that Groeschel is a longtime teacher of pastoral counseling at a New York seminary, and has spent decades counseling priests accused of sexual abuse or battling alcoholism.

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