Friday, August 31, 2012

Fr. Benedict Groeschel on Youngsters As Priest-Seducers: He Says, They Say, I Say

He said: "A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer."

But you wouldn't know what he said, since National Catholic Register, in which he said what he said, has now disappeared what he said from the Register website.

And then he apologized.  (And see also here.)

And they're saying (Tom Roberts at NCR, Joseph Zwilling of the archdiocese of NY as cited by Kevin Clarke at America, Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin, and blahblahblah in response to Grant Gallicho at Commonweal [see the second link above]).

And he's saying: The real issue is, "Why are there not hundreds of Catholic officials publicly denouncing Fr. Groeschel, especially Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose archdiocese employs or employed him and in whose archdiocese he lives and works?"

And I say: 

1. It's time for this nonsense about excusing adult men molesting minors by blaming the minors themselves to stop.

2. The atmosphere created in the Catholic church by apologists who want to find the situation of adult men abusing minors "complex" (see Matthew Boudway et al. in the Commonweal thread linked above) is toxic.  Blahblahblah betrays the mission of the church to be a sacramental sign of the redemptive Word of God incarnate in the world.

3. Apologists like Mr. Boudway et al. do themselves, their centrist Catholic publications, and the credibility of Catholic academic and journalistic discourse no good at all by hopping into bed with the likes of Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who has long pushed this false discourse about "ephebophilia" and adolescent males seducing poor, lonely, beleaguered Father.

4. The red-herring ephebophilia argument which tries to absolve adult men sexually abusing teenaged boys on the grounds that the boys are, after all, quasi-adults, and are most likely seducers, is rooted in the work of Philip Jenkins of Penn State University (see preceding link).  Did I say Penn State?  Why are none of the bishops and Catholic bishop-apologists who keep pushing Jenkins's argument (as Fr. Groeschel just tried to do once again!) no longer mentioning the name of the person from whom they've borrowed this argument?  And where he teaches.

5. It's long since time for this nonsense to stop.  It brings great disrepute to the Catholic church and its moral teachings.  And it should do so.  It should do so because you don't wade in moral sewers and retain moral credibility and moral influence when you climb out of the sewer to deliver moral dictates.  And you don't ground solid moral teaching on lies.

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