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Fr. Groeschel
Question from Ryan Pierce - AMDG on 9/5/2012:

Dear Mrs. Brown,

I, too, have listened for many years to Fr. Groeschel on EWTN and have considered him an absolute inspiration. There are few people who live out the call of Jesus the way he did.

However, I was shocked at your and others response which fails to unequivocally condemn his comments related to sex abuse. I read the entire interview before it was taken down, and I thought it was a wonderful set of thoughts until I got to the sex abuse section where I had to double check to make sure that this wasn't a very cruel parody or attempt by those who hate Catholics to harm us. But Fr. Groeschel does not deny saying what was printed and it is impossible to contend that this was taken out of context.

His quotes are all over the internet now (unfortunately without the rest of his interview which does give a sense that this is a holy man who has given so much). I agree that 99% of the newsmedia will look for any reason to slander Catholics and distort our positions to make us look barbaric. However, in this case what is being reported is what Fr. Groeschel's comments said. The most difficult quotes include:

"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."

"Here's this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn't anyone say anything?"

"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."

I am an absolutely loyal, loving Catholic with several religious in my family. No one could claim that I do not deeply revere our faith and its leaders, including Fr. Groeschel. But I cannot defend these comments and I do not understand why anyone who loves our church would fail to condemn them.

Mrs. Brown, from your general responses so far, I cannot get a sense from you as to your position on Fr. Groeschel's comments - it is clear (and deeply admirable) that you venerate him and his work. I have looked to you for years on EWTN and ALL.org for your wonderful Catholic leadership. You have been a stalwart in the fight to protect babies and your firm but loving position against abortion is inspirational. I understand that there may have been some priests falsely accused and some victims who weren't. And I understand not wanting to slander Fr. Groeschel given all his wonderful work. But surely we can separate and condemn what Fr. Groeschel said on sex abuse from the rest of his wonderful work?

To be blunt: Mrs. Brown, do you disagree with the content of what Fr. Groeschel said in terms of sex abuse and in particular that the victims of sex abuse were often seducers?

Thank you for all you do for all of us "silent majority" Catholics!

Answer by Judie Brown on 9/6/2012:

Ryan

My position on the comments attributed to Father Groeschel is that they remarks were unfortunate, an apology was made and to my mind, the entire matter should never have been reported. Father is older now and he simply erred in what he said.

Time to move on.

Judie Brown

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