Almost twenty five years ago Archbishop Rembert Weakland declared that some adolescent victims of sexual assault were not “so innocent”. Weakland elaborated by saying that some adolescents “can be sexually very active and aggressive and often quite street-wise”.
Fast forward a quarter of a century later and well known Catholic priest Fr. Benedict Groeschel offers this piece of wisdom concerning the clergy sexual assault crisis that continues to plague the church:
“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him…A lot of the cases, the youngster – 14, 16, or 18 is the seducer”. Groeschel added that all of this was understandable “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”.
Groeschel provided his insights to the National Catholic Register in a lengthy interview which has since been removed from the publications website. Groeschel leads the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a religious order headquartered in the Archdiocese of New York under Cardinal Dolan’s supervision. Groeschel also hosts his own television program which can be seen on EWTN.
In the interview Groeschel proceeded to offer his observations on the sexual assault scandal at Penn State University. He stated “Here’s this poor guy Sandusky, it went on for years. Interesting: why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well you know, until recent years people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things”.
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