Friar Claims That ‘the Youngster Is the Seducer’ When Priests Rape Kids

Ah, victim blaming.  The age-old technique to allow rapists and molesters to shirk off responsibility for their actions.

We hear a lot of this in regards to cases of “legitimate rape” (as it is so sweetly referred to by old idiotic men) when the woman was clearly asking for it… You know how it sounds: “Did you see how short her skirt was? She totally wanted it” or “I could literally see her whole arm.  What did she expect, wearing a tank-top into public?”

So call me naive, but I wasn’t expecting anyone to be so deluded, so utterly heartless, so cruel as to blame children for being raped and molested by men who are supposed to their moral leaders. It’s disgusting and utterly disheartening.

Father Benedict Groeschel was being interviewed by the National Catholic Register (the link to the original article  should be here, but it appears to have been taken down) about his conservative breakaway order, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, when the conversation turned to Catholic  priests and their nasty little habit of raping kids.

Just read what he has to say:

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.

… okay. So even giving Groeschel the benefit of the doubt, assuming that 14-year-old girls are attempting to seduce priests, this justifies old men having sex with tweens how?  They are still the authority figures there.  It should still be obvious that they shouldn’t have sex with children.  Yeah, they should do charity and help people and try to be leaders in their community, but first and foremost, they should spend every hour of every day not raping kids.

But Groeschel didn’t stop talking… (cue awkward phrasing in next paragraph)

Pressed for clarification, the New York State-based religious leader explained that kids looking for father figures might be drawn to priests to fill a hole.

Furthermore, Groeschel expressed a belief that most of these “relationships” are heterosexual in nature, and that historically sexual relationships between men and boys have not been thought of as crimes.

“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… And I’m inclined to think, on [a priest's] first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime.

Where to start?  

“Their intention was not committing a crime”?  Are you all of the way outside of your entire brain?  Have you heard of things like “unintentional manslaughter”?  What is your problem?  “On a priest’s first offense, they should not go to jail”?!  You actually think that just because he only raped one kid (that we are aware of), a priest should literally get a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card?  “Well if you force yourself on another youngster, then we’ll start talking about consequences of your actions.”

I don’t think I can even address the whole “heterosexual relationships and relationships between men and boys aren’t really a crime” because it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

It’s beyond me why these child-molesting priests don’t get thrown right under the bus by Catholic leaders.  Why don’t they say, “Yeah, those guys are the worst, amirite?” and at least attempt to separate themselves from the situation?

What do you guys think?  Do they really believe that priests molesting young children (boys or girls) isn’t that bad or isn’t the fault of the molester?  Does this guy speak for Catholic leaders everywhere?  Or are they just trying to downplay the situation?

Most importantly, why is this kind of rhetoric still floating around? Why haven’t people condemned these men and the Catholic Church en masse? What the hell is going on, here?!

About Jessica Bluemke

Jessica Bluemke grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Ball State University in 2008 with a BA in Literature. She currently works as a writer and resides on the North side of Chicago.

  • The Captain

    Please tell me that is a typo in this sentence! 

    “the New York State-based religious leader explained that kids looking for father figures might be drawn to priests to fill a hole.”

    • Aaron Scoggin

      A very unfortunate choice of words, indeed.

      • Ryan

        They changed it to ”
        drawn to priests to fill an emotional hole in their lives.”….  damn I liked the original better!

        • Jellis

          OK.  so if these children are looking for a father figure, does it follow that fathers also molest their children and that is what the children are looking for?

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    The way he was lighting the altar candles was deliberately provacative! How was the poor priest to cope? He was lighting those wicks like a sinful harlot!

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Actually, those comments come out of the lost book of the Bible.  Jesus

    Unfortunately, this passage doesn’t include Jesus’ response which was

     

  • RobMcCune

    Just like Todd Akin these people will excuse the rape of another person rather than admit any fault with their beliefs or institutions. Their beliefs aren’t wrong its the victims, the women, or the innocent children, who are wrong. 

    People like this are disgusting.

  • The Other Weirdo

    In light of this, the recent comments by Groeschel seem both puzzling and jarringly out of step with current sentiments.

    Whoever wrote this article makes it sound like “current sentiment” is what matters here. Abuse of power is abuse of power. After all its claims of moral superiority, the RCC(and that article’s author) should know that raping children is bad regardless of “current sentiment”.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    I made this meme that sums up his line of thinking.

  • dcl3500

    Wow, just wow, aren’t the adults in these cases supposed to be, well, the adults in the situation?

  • Octoberfurst

    Oh my God! I was just slack-jawed when I read this article. Is Father Groeschel out of his friggin’ mind?  I remember when they brought this guy to, I believe Boston, after all the sex abuse scandals to “clean things up.”  They said he was squeaky clean and a no nonsense type guy. Too bad he’s a moron. What is it about Catholic Clergy that like to blame everyone byt themselves and their organization for their problems?  

    • CelticWhisper

       It’s because they’re The Church(TM), and of course Lordy McJesusGod can never do any wrong, so it’s always someone else’s fault.

      The victim is just a convenient target who’s ill-equipped to properly fight back against an institution that’s had 2000 years to perfect its means of guilt-warfare against its subjects.

  • kenneth

    This is not the least bit surprising nor out of character for the culture of that church going back decades and probably centuries. The abuse scandal was not a bug of the system. It was, and is, a core feature of their cultural and spiritual software. 

  • onamission5

    I know attitudes like this exist amongst the general citizenry because I have experienced them myself, but the fact that a catholic leader like Groeschel was willing to say such abominable bullshit out loud, in public, with no hint of irony or remorse, tells me that the problem of pedophilia in the church is probably a LOT bigger than we think it is. Which is scary.

    • kenneth

      Of course the problem is bigger than we think it is. The church and its apologists have been spinning the problem first as an invention of the “liberal media” and homosexuals, then as a purely administrative and procedural problem. It will all be fixed by writing tough policies, weeding out gays and doing background checks, they said. It’s nothing of the kind. It stems from a culture of men who have no moral compass or courage and zero sense of accountability to anyone. This priest simply let slip the mask and gave us a real view of the church’s culture.

      • Mike

        I think it might have something to do with denying a basic human instinct,  sex. They have no release at all. No sex. No marriage, no masturbation. It’s all forbidden for priests.

        I don’t think its surprising that after a time some of them become screwed up from internal fantasies on those they have close contact with.

        • kenneth

          A lot of abuser priests are in fact developmentally arrested in an adolescent stage of sexuality and never developed to the point where they were able to integrate that part of their existence properly. I think some people can embrace celibacy in a healthy way. Many priests, who begin their formation early in life, never do. To my mind, the real problem lies with the sickness of the organization that excuses and actively enables predatory sexual behavior. 

        • Pascale Laviolette

          I often wonder if the priesthood attracts these types of men, or creates them…  I know which profession I’d choose if I were a pedophile, given how seldom they’re punished or even exposed.  It’s beyond sickening.

  • newavocation

    Back in the 1500s Montaigne wrote about how the Catholics filled all the wells with bodies of the people they killied and how they claimed it must have been OK or God would have not let them do it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=813165390 Annika Raaen

      That’s just chilling.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    [T]hey should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime

    I think we’ve finally found our get-out-of-hell-free card!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Pressed for clarification, the New York State-based religious leader
    explained that kids looking for father figures might be drawn to priests to fill a hole.

    I’m sorry, but that unintended pun is so heavy with equal amounts of hilarity and horror that I just can’t let it pass: “Father, please fill my hole with your big, hard, hot…”

    (ahem) Okay, now to answer your question,

    Does this guy speak for Catholic leaders everywhere?

    No. He speaks for perpetrators, priests or not.  Several of my patients were child sex abusers. Not always, but very often they’d try to rationalize their crime by portraying the child victim as having been seductive, and so somehow that mitigated or even nullified the perpetrator’s responsibility. It was a last ditch form of denial, and it was often very tenacious. But I never ever heard such a rationalization from anyone but a perp.

    Yes, I know that that does not mean the friar is a perp. All it means is that he resembles one, and he is certainly not gaining any credibility with anyone other than with perps.

    • Marco

      The first that crossed my mind when I read the article was that the friar was speaking from experience. A perp will indeed interpret innocent actions as seductive and then use them as justification. Someone for whom molesting children is an aberration would not even think about the possibility that a child could be at fault.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Considering that we only ever hear such rationalizations from the perps themselves, this ought to be a friggin’ ginormous red flag — keep the kiddies away from the “good” Father!

  • Marco

    Did you look at this guy? He was probably an apprentice under St. Francis himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randy-Tyson/631100388 Randy Tyson

    Oh, but it gets worse. The National Catholic Register pulled the interview from their website and later inserted a retraction. Of sorts. It reads (in part)-

    “…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…” In other words, “Our editorial staff missed whitewashing the interview for popular consumption.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/mailmejose Jose Alvarado

    What can we expect out of people so expertly trained in the art of apologetics (defense of their theology/doctrine) as part of their theological studies? They are already used to defending the atrocities of the bible. It is but one more argument against teaching children such absolutist morals in a world so much in need of moral progress! 

    The ruling theocracy in this country get their powers not from God but from the people who allow them to stick their noses in public policy, in your bedrooms and now in women’s vagina’s. It is maybe our own misunderstanding of the source of this power that keeps us from eradicating these superstitious and dogmatic institutions. It is why atheism has not seen its fastest growth until the “new atheists” movement took hold and people began to challenge, not just the church directly, but also the sheep on social media, billboards, advertisings, one on one in your neighborhoods (as I do when the Jehovas Witnesses come around) and sometimes in our own families. 

    Keep up the good fight!

  • Gus Snarp

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t leave your children alone with anyone talking about how seductive a 14 year old can be to an adult.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    So according to him both the Bible and Lolita are works of non-fiction and that they should be used to help set your moral compass.   Quick get this man a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, before he does any more damage.

  • icecreamassassin

    Why is the concept of ‘consent’ (either in the legal sense or the informal sense) so damn hard for some people to grasp?

    • Earl G.

      Because recognizing the interests of others goes against the fundamental core of power and privilege.  

  • mikespeir

    I don’t doubt there are kids out there who try to seduce adults.  That’s largely irrelevant.  It’s the duty of the adult not to be seduced.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      And those children were taught, BY ADULTS, to be seductive, so it’s a sign of a child who has already been sexually abused in some fashion.

      • mikespeir

         Good point, too.

  • nakedanthropologist

    As a former Catholic I can say that this is pretty much the attitude everywhere with the Catholic Church.  Its always the victim’s fault, and protection of “the Church” and its clergy will always outweigh any concerns for the victims and their families.  What that friar said is so incredibly repulsive, so digusting that I literally had to take a minute to keep from throwing up.  Sure, I was emotiomally abused by clergy when I was a kid (I went to a Catholic elementary school) but thankfully I was never raped.  I got off easy – and sad to say, the only message I’ve ever gotten from priests and other church leaders about all of the abuses, brutalizations, and rapes was basically “Meh, its not our fault…that kid was probably/might be lying.  But don’t worry, the Catholic church is still going strong!  Please be generous in your donations.”  I swear, I do not understand why good people still support the church so ardently, without pressing for real reform. 

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    And on the no-longer-there-article:

    “Commenting is not available in this channel entry.”

    Geee.

  • Corey

    ‘Scum Bag Of The Day’ award goes to: Father Benedict Groeschel

  • Labriela

    He is allegedly a “trained psychologist” in addtion to being a priest. He ought to be ashamed of himself… He belongs to a church which actively holds that “homosexual activity is inherent evil” and he talks as if sexual activity between men and boys is “no big deal”. I am wondering if he is getting senile and his superiors have not figured it out yet! Disgusting hubris!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBAMPHNDKNSKDNVTY3VRYGWMYQ Jack

    Groeschel speaks English so I’m sure he knows words have meaning and how language works, that’s why I don’t get what the hell is going on here. Does that guy work for The Onion? is he a snarky, deadpan comedian?

    Jessica, are you OK psychologically after having to actually write a blog post saying that people should not fuck kids?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    “Pressed for clarification, the New York State-based religious leader
    explained that kids looking for father figures might be drawn to priests
    to fill a hole.

    Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Freud to the white courtesy phone, please…

  • Fathiest

    Check this out. His bosses are defending him stating that this out of character remark from such an outstandingly kind man was due to a car accident seven years ago! Will they never learn?

    • John Small Berries

       And his own apology boils down to “I’m an old man! I’m confused!”

      Which, of course, raises the question: if he or his caretakers knew he was suffering from a cognitive impairment, why on earth didn’t anyone read his article closely before publishing it? (Of course, if they did read it closely, what does it say about them that they approved it for publication?)

  • Michael

    Sometimes, it is true, underage girls do come on to older men to mess with their heads.

    But, get this, the majority of us have no trouble shutting them down without so much as getting our cocks out let alone fucking them. “Piss off you’re not funny” works just fine for me.

    If a 14 year old can seduce you then you have problems.

  • Earl G.

    They way the Catholic Church talks about children is a lot like the way the GOP talks about women.

  • kaydenpat

    Wow.  Speechless.  Wonder how many boys this monster has raped.

  • Rosemary

    Clearly, it was Mary’s fault that she got pregnant as the result of her interaction with the Almighty Yahweh God.  Obviously, she asked for it, or the god would not engaged in the Act.   She seduced him and he submitted.  He filled her hole in his own special way so that it became holy rather than merely holey. 

  • Noel Allen

    Title of my book is “Robbed and raped by My Two Fathers”

    This book is a MUST READ for anybody who has ever been sexually abused. It recounts how little
    Noel’s body was violated by a Roman Catholic priest; and clearly shows how you can get MONETARY COMPENSATION (just like the author) even if your encounter took place 10, 20, 30, 40, or over 50 years ago. The author is also willing to help you write your story.

    The author’s talent was put on display by the New York Daily News in an article entitled AMERICA WAS MY LAST HOPE.

    Click the link below or copy and past link into your web browser.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/search-results/search-results-7.113?q=JOSHUA+M.+BERNSTEIN%2C+WRITE%3A
    +AMERICA+WAS+MY+LAST+HOPE&selecturl=Site&submit_btn=Search

    PLEASE LEAVE comment at http://www.shvoong.com/society-and-news/spirituality/2353552-robbed-raped-fathers/

    Thankyou.

    The book can also be seen at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/280928s

  • Noel Allen

    Title of my book is “Robbed and raped by My Two Fathers”

    This book is a MUST READ for anybody who has ever been sexually abused. It recounts how little Noel’s body was violated by a Roman Catholic priest; and clearly shows how you can get MONETARY COMPENSATION (just like the author) even if your encounter took place 10, 20, 30, 40, or over 50 years ago. The author is also willing to help you write your story.

    The author’s talent was put on display by the New York Daily News in an article entitled AMERICA WAS MY LAST HOPE.

    Click the link below or copy and past link into your web browser.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/search-results/search-results-7.113?q=JOSHUA+M.+BERNSTEIN%2C+WRITE%3A
    +AMERICA+WAS+MY+LAST+HOPE&selecturl=Site&submit_btn=Search

    please leave comments at http://www.shvoong.com/society-and-news/spirituality/2353552-robbed-raped-fathers/

    Thankyou.

    The book can also be seen at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/280928


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