Say What Now of the Day

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Say What Now of the Day
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This is Father Benedict Groeschel, a high-profile Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of New York who has a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.

This what he had to say about convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky -- whom he believes is the victim in the Penn State scandal, not the perpetrator:

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 ... 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 ... 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 -- 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.

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.

Groeschel's comments have since been removed from the National Catholic Register website.

[thedish]