By NBC News wire services
NEW YORK — A New York priest says he “deeply regrets” if he hurt anyone by his comments that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender should not go to jail.
The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal apologized Thursday for the comments he made in an interview with the National Catholic Register, published this week. The conservative, independent Register removed the story from its website and posted an apology for publishing the comments. Groeschel and the friars did as well.
“I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible,” Groeschel said in his post on the website. “My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.”
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