The question raised by the Fr. Benedict Groeschel controversy is simple: why is Cardinal Dolan - and every other US Catholic official - silent? This week, Groeschel, a prominent New York-based priest and founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal said teens act as “seducers” in sex abuse cases against clergy.
But the real issue isn't that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks. (Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.)
The real issue is "Why do priests who make callous, mean-spirited comments that hurt the already-wounded never suffer any consequences?" 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?"
Can you even think of one instance, over the past 25 years, in which even one bishop or other top church staffer disciplined or denounced even one church employee for making even one ignorant, hurtful statement?
It doesn’t happen. And that's why priests like Fr. Groeschel continue to rub salt in the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of thousands of suffering child sex abuse victims and their loved ones.
But it should happen. So today we are calling on two prominent Catholic officials to discipline Groeschel.
Both Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Daniel Conlon should immediately censure Groeschel. Dolan should speak not only because he is the Catholic leader of America, but also because both Groeschel and his order are based in New York, thus falling under Dolan’s supervision. Conlon should speak because he is the chair of the USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, and should know firsthand the devastation that sex abuse wreaks on a child.
It’s wrong to demonize children who were raped. It’s even worse to ignore such wrong doing.