Critics blasted a nationally renowned Catholic priest Thursday for his outrageous claim that underage victims of pedophiles such as Jerry Sandusky and rogue priests are sometimes the seducers.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, former head of the Office of Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese of New York, appalled victims rights advocates when he offered sympathy for disgraced ex-Penn State coach Sandusky and suggested that first-time sexual predators deserved no jail time.
“It’s disgusting,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
“It’s wrong to demonize children who were raped, and it’s even worse to turn it around and turn the victims into the villains,” said Clohessy. “This is not only backward and wrong, but hurtful and counterproductive.”
Groeschel, a Franciscan friar and longtime Catholic radio and television host, made his comments during a seemingly routine sitdown with the religious publication timed to the 25th anniversary of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, the religious order he founded.
For some reason, Groeschel launched into his disturbing remarks about child sex abuse.