ReligionNews — The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan friar from New York who appears often on EWTN, a conservative Catholic TV channel, said that priests who abuse children should not go to jail “on their first offense.” He also expressed sympathy for Jerry Sandusky, the ex-football coach at Penn State University who was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Groeschel’s comments come as the Roman Catholic Church in the United States is hoping to turn the corner on a decadeslong scandal that has cost billions in settlements and damaged its moral standing.
The 78-year-old Groeschel spoke to National Catholic Register on Tuesday. Here’s the excerpt concerning sexual abuse:
“Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?”
“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.”Continue Reading on www.religionnews.com