Father Benedict Groeschel, former head of the Office of Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese of New York, became of the ire of child advocates when he told the National Catholic Register recently that pedophiles are the victims, not the children they molest as most people are led to believe. The Rev. tried to turn the tables on sexual predators, suggesting that children seduce men whom they look up to as father figures, thereby making the child the real predators and the adults the victims of a child’s sexual advances.
Groeschel went onto say in his radio interview, “Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him,” he continued. “A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”
He also used the opportunity to advocate for pedophiles “rights”. He expressed compassion towards Sandusky, saying, “This poor guy Sandusky”.
Jerry Sandusky was recently found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse against children including involuntary, deviate sexual intercourse with children and assault against children during his tenure as assistant coach for college football under Joe Paterno at Pennsylvania State University. Some of the details of his actions and sexual assault against children were too disturbing and graphic for media reports.
Groeschel suggested that for the first time child rapist, they should be absolved of any guilt or jail time. He also subtly suggested that the children of rape actually enjoy it, saying, “Interesting…why didn’t anybody say anything?”
Groeschel was harshly criticized by victims rights groups and the New York Archdiocese, but they also sought to diminish his outrageous behavior by saying the comments were likely a result of a terrible fall Groeschel experienced recently and old age. Groeschel is 79-years-old. They denounced his comments while recognizing his compassionate service within the church, sending a mixed message to a lot of child advocates who believe there is no excuse.
Groeschel himself also apologized, saying, “I did not mean to blame the victim.”
“I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.”
He also said that his mind is not as sharp as it used to be.