A Dose of (Rape Apologizing) Stupid v.77

If you are a rape apologist, you know you crossed the line when other rape apologists and deniers call you out. Last week, Father Benedict Groeschel graced us with a brilliant piece of utter stupidity. In an interview with the National Catholic Register, he stated:

[Interviewer]: Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?

[Father Groeschel]: A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.

[Interviewer]: Why would that be?

[Father Greoschel]: 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.

It’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers. Generally, if they get involved, it’s heterosexually, and if it’s a priest, he leaves and gets married — that’s the usual thing — and gets a dispensation. A lot of priests leave quickly, get civilly married and then apply for the dispensation, which takes about three years.

But there are the relatively rare cases where a priest is involved in a homosexual way with a minor. I think the statistic I read recently in a secular psychology review was about 2%. Would that be true of other clergy? Would it be true of doctors, lawyers, coaches?

Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] 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.

If you go back 10 or 15 years ago with different sexual difficulties — except for rape or violence — it was very rarely brought as a civil crime. Nobody thought of it that way. Sometimes statutory rape would be — but only if the girl pushed her case. Parents wouldn’t touch it. People backed off, for years, on sexual cases. I’m not sure why.

I think perhaps part of the reason would be an embarrassment, that it brings the case out into the open, and the girl’s name is there, or people will figure out what’s there, or the youngster involved — you know, it’s not put in the paper, but everybody knows; they’re talking about it.

At this point, (when) any priest, any clergyman, any social worker, any teacher, any responsible person in society would become involved in a single sexual act — not necessarily intercourse — they’re done. And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.

The National Catholic Register has removed the interview, replacing it with a statement condemning child abuse and Father Groeschel. My favorite part of their response is this:

Our publication of that comment was an editorial mistake, for which we sincerely apologize. Given Father Benedict’s stellar history over many years, we released his interview without our usual screening and oversight. We have removed the story. We have sought clarification from Father Benedict.

What magazine does not check the interviews before they publish them?

Much like what happened with Todd Akin, it appears that after Groeschel made an ass of himself, the interviewer did not question what he said. How do you let something as insidious as “a lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer” slide?

Let us set aside the absurdity of children being seducers for a moment, and ask a basic question. The vast majority of the victims of priests are boys, and most of those boys are heterosexual. How many heterosexual boys do you know try to seduce 50-year-old priests? Better yet, how many boys, gay or straight, want to have a “romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse” relationship with their father or father-like figure?

A better question: since when is a first-time offense a license to walk? What if the first-time offense was violent? What if it was prolonged? What if it is the only offense one has evidence for, but not the only offense that ever occurred? And since when is not intending to commit an act that even toddlers know is a crime a reason to let someone off?

Much like with Todd Akin’s statement, nothing that Groeschel said is unusual. There are plenty of people who think like he does. They simply have the sense not to say it in an interview. Of course, Groeschel clarified what he actually meant:

I apologize for my comments. I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. 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.

Sorry, but I am not buying it. It looks very much like Groeschel knew exactly what he was saying. The man presents an argument, challenges the obvious counter to the argument, and then defends his original point. No one who has lost grasp of expressing themselves could do that.

So let us cut the bullshit for a minute, Father. You said something you did not think anyone would question because that is the kind of nonsense you say around other priests. You meant what you said. Do not cop out just because you got called out on your utter stupidity. It is what Jesus would do.

6 thoughts on “A Dose of (Rape Apologizing) Stupid v.77

  1. I also found it quite troubling that Groeschel apparently have worked a lot with counselling “wayward priests”. It’s not a long stretch to imagine some of them were “wayward” due to “inappropriate” contact with minors. I can only imagine that Groeschel stance and counselling didn’t do much for the recidivism rate for those priests 😦

  2. Thanks for providing full copy on the Groeschel interview. I did note that someone had been ever so busy in ensuring that copies were purged from the net. It seems that The National Catholic Register (EWTN News, Inc) have been ever so zealous in getting it under wraps and attempting to amke it all a none issue.

    The comments reported in the media did not give the fuller context, and having read it my Sirens just went up by a factor of 10.

    Apologist? Enabler? Excuser? …. this fits 100% with the crap of “Supremae Sacrea Congregationis Sancti Officii” – ” And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified.”

    Only Some? …and Groeschel has the temerity to talk of psychopaths when he evidently knows far less than nothing on the subject! I have to ask how many dangerous clerics has this idiot allowed to continue, because of his flawed and illiterate grasp of abuser reality?

    Why did victims not blow the whistle? Doesn’t Groeschel supposedly have some form of academic qualification in psychology and the ability to read source texts on Social Psychology? What does he need to get with the subject – Shock therapy?

    Up to now I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt – he’s old – he’s had a cerebral injury involving a car – but no longer! He’s disgusting and degenerate and deserves all opprobrium that is heaped upon him. He’s a Class A example of just how so many within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church facilitated and empower abuse – and a Class A example of why Clerical Abuse is so damaging long term to so many!

    Groeschel – Go To Hell! You will be in excellent company of your own making!

  3. It’s not ridiculous at all to consider a young person at 14, 16 or 18 as a seducer. (a person in that age-range is hardly a ‘child’ sexually speaking, in many jurisdictions many of them would be above the age of consent.) I spent a lot of time and effort around that age doing my best to be precisely that, and I think the same can be said for most of my classmates of both genders.

    But it is, as you say, utterly ridiculous to claim that heterosexual 15 year old boys will act as seducers towards 50 year old male priests.

  4. @Toysoldier – well, due to the oddities of how The Franciscan Orders operate within The catholic Church and through canon law, the person in charge is either Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan (of the $20,000 to pedo priests to go quietly) or The Big Papa Himself – Ratzinger. There will no doubt be an issue of interference being run by Cardinal Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller – present Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    Of course – Old Ratzinger was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – and he got all reports globally on his desk ….. and it’s still not clear if he ever read them! He was even aware of events as far back as 1995 (On the Record) and As a Bishop and then Cardinal in his own right, he was aware of matters from at least 1977 – some 35 years.

    One has to wonder, have they too all had cerebral incidents that have increased their infirmity?

    Maybe Cardinal Dolan has already bunged a few dollars at Groschel to shut him up?

  5. I agree the comments were despicable in many ways, esp the comments about Sandusky. Sandusky wasn’t a “hard case” with few or no witnesses, no evidence, or any of that. What Sandusky did wasn’t comparable to something like a 40 year old non authority figure having consensual sex with a 15 to 17 year old who doesn’t feel victimized and doesn’t want prosecution or some of the more ridiculous cases of unknowing statutory rape (wherein the “victim” is someplace they are not supposed to be with faux id and all that). Nope Sandusky was a predator by any definition of that term and while he may have stumbled on a few victims who were within a year or two of the legal AOC and liked what happened ( I firmly believe there were more victims than we currently know of) he seemed to like real children, not just adolescents (or arguably young adults) most of his victims being 10 to 12 it seems. Then there’s the force that was alleged to have been used, the fact that he did this stuff multiple times to most of the victims, and …. never mind. The case is sordid and disgusting. That Groeschel doesn’t realize that, and chooses to use it to try and illustrate a point – a flawed point at that – about how any Priest- boy sex could be anything but a sin even if it was consensual (remember the Church vows) and anything but wrong even if it was consensual (and I’d never believe a straight kid would do it, and even most gay 15 to 17 year olds wouldn’t be interested, I’m sure) -Priests being legal authority figures – raises tremendous red flags.

    So yeah, I hope this does NOT go away, and if there is anyone you’d suggest writing or something you suggest doing to ensure an investigation into Groeschel’s previous involvement in any investigations, please let me know.

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