Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel: Response to Brooks Egertonís March 2, 2003 Article n Dallas Morning News
http://www.franciscanfriars.com/ ^ | Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel CFR, Ed. D.

Posted on 03/06/2003 8:29:10 AM PST by Polycarp

Response to Brooks Egerton’s Article of March 2, 2003 in the Dallas Morning News

The headline of this article claiming that I played down the abuse crisis is an absolute untruth. Anyone reading my books or listening to my talks on this subject knows that this is utterly untrue, that it is a smear.

I must respond carefully to the rest of Egerton’s article because of professional confidentiality. I cannot even acknowledge that I spoke to certain people because of their right to privacy.

A few obvious points:

Egerton says that according to me the sexual abuse scandal is “largely the stuff of fiction”. Any honest person reading my book From Scandal to Hope (Our Sunday Visitor Press 2002) will see that this is a complete distortion, an almost incredible denial of what my book is about. I do stand by my statement that the secular media have taken the scandal out of proportion, ignored many charges of abuse of minors and committed by others in professional roles, created the impression that this is only a problem of Catholic clergy. Writers as varied as George Weigel, Philip Jenkins, Andrew Greeley, Richard Neauhaus and Peter Steinfels have all been critical of the media coverage of these scandals.

I agree with the assessment of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals on this issue:

“In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated and that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion.” Cardinal Ratzinger characterizes the media coverage as a planned campaign.

A number of factual distortions should be indicated. Egerton mentions that 85 priests have returned to the active ministry through Trinity Retreat, implying that some of these priests had difficulties with minors. These were priests on leaves of absence, not priests who had been accused of any misbehavior at all.

I have not been the director of Trinity Retreat for ten years. This retreat for priests has never has been referred to before as a mansion. In fact, I don’t even live in the building, I have lived for years in the garage.

I did not decline to be interviewed. I never spoke to Mr. Egerton because I was not at home when he called. After this article I am grateful to God I did not talk to him.

Fr. Richard Brown never assisted in the management of Trinity Retreat. He did typing and recorded reservations for priests coming on retreat. He lived a most prayerful and ascetical life while here and he had done so for many years before as many people have said. He did no pastoral work in the New York Archdiocese, nor did anyone ever request permission for him to do so.

I cannot comment on the allegations of the representative of the Paterson Diocese, except to say that my role is significantly misrepresented. I have requested a formal clarification.

I can say Morgan Kuhl never received any treatment from me and was in fact directly enrolled in a formal treatment program elsewhere. We provided a supervised residence, which the court agreed to continue.

As to the issue of my not having a license: a Doctor of Psychology does not need a license unless he is receiving third part payments for instance from an insurance company or an agency. I never intended to receive any pay doing psychological counseling or spiritual direction, so I never bothered about a license. In fact I have never been paid a cent for my services that Mr. Egerton refers to as “business”. It is not uncommon for professors of psychology not to obtain licenses to practice, because clinical practice is not our principal vocation.

I stand by what I have written in From Scandal to Hope.

Mr. Egerton’s article is a prime example of the hostility, distortion and planned attack on the Catholic Church in the United States by certain segments of the media.

I also wish to acknowledge the support and encouragement of countless numbers of people whom I meet in my preaching travels and who only recognize me as a Catholic priest and religious. People when they warmly greet me they are at least four times more friendly than they were two years ago. The American people have a sense of fair play and many of them, including many clergymen of other denominations have indicated to me that they believe Catholic priests are being victimized by an abuse of the power of the media.

Of course I will keep Mr. Egerton in my prayers for himself and his personal intentions. This is required by the gospel. He’s also done me a favor proving the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. In the Sermon On The Mount, (Matthew 5:11) Jesus reassures us when He says, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad for your reward is very great in heaven.”


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: benedictgroeschel; catholiclist; diocese; paterson; patersondiocese
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last
Letter to the Herald News - Larchmont, NY 3/3/03

I write to clarify certain charges against me in the recent article, Rodimer: “Psychologist Gave Me Bad Advice” (Tuesday March 4, 2003), by Maya Kremen). I have asked the diocese to publish a clarification as well and they have agreed. I am not critical of the writer who used the information she had.

I had nothing to do with the reappointment of James Hanley to another parish after he was removed from Mendham as a result of serious accusations of abuse of minors. In fact, I had never heard of the case. I became involved when Hanley came on retreat after he was removed a second time from a new assignment because his picture appeared in the diocesan paper with a group of altar boys. I totally agreed with the Serano family, who apparently acquiesced to his reassignment, that this was a serious violation of a provision that had been given to them, namely, that Hanley not work with minors. No additional charges of misconduct were made as far as I know from Hanley’s second assignment. I strongly suggested that he not be assigned to any parish duties and that he be supervised closely. Hanley at this time was an active AA member and was very remorseful.

I was never involved with such a case before and I was startled by the degree of anger and hurt Hanley’s sinful behavior had generated. Since that time I have worked with a number of victims and I accept their anger as appropriate and say so in my book, From Scandal to Hope (OSV 2002).

The other two cases mentioned in the article pertain to consenting adults, or at least that was the information I was given originally. There was no involvement with minors that I knew about.

Mr. Cotton’s criticism of me is unfounded but certainly understandable. If I said what he believes I said he would be totally justified in his criticism. The fact is I did not say what the article in the Metro West Daily reported. I said that as a result of working on the case of the late Archbishop Marino, I had come to realize that about 98% of what the media says about people involved in scandals is untrue or distorted. I mentioned that I did not believe everything said about a scandal involving a former president.

I suspect that Mr. Cotton never read my book From Scandal to Hope (OSV. 2002). Any honest person reading the book will see that I am horrified by the abuse of minors or anyone else propositioned by a priest. My book is a very serious and powerful call for the reform of the Church and of our society that is so lacking in morality and respect for the individual.

I am at a great disadvantage in defending myself because of the right of confidentiality of the people involved. I have worked as a therapist and spiritual director with clergy for 30 years after obtaining a doctorate in Counseling Psychology at Columbia University. I have never charged a fee and have never asked for or received payment. I have seen clergy of various different denominations and faiths. Like any therapist I have made mistakes. People forget that therapists and spiritual directors are neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys. Since I cannot defend myself, I think that any honest person will admit that what has been said against me is unfair and based on misinformation. Being a strong advocate of Church reform does not make you popular—but Jesus did not suggest that we would be popular if we try to follow Him.

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel CFR, Ed. D.

1 posted on 03/06/2003 8:29:11 AM PST by Polycarp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: .45MAN; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; aposiopetic; Aquinasfan; ...
I'm making an exception to my Lenten FR fast for this VERY important thread!

I agree with the assessment of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals on this issue:

“In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated and that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion.” Cardinal Ratzinger characterizes the media coverage as a planned campaign.

A number of factual distortions should be indicated. Egerton mentions that 85 priests have returned to the active ministry through Trinity Retreat, implying that some of these priests had difficulties with minors. These were priests on leaves of absence, not priests who had been accused of any misbehavior at all.

...I stand by what I have written in From Scandal to Hope.

Mr. Egerton’s article is a prime example of the hostility, distortion and planned attack on the Catholic Church in the United States by certain segments of the media.

Sink, A response from Groeschel, as you requested (shrilly demanded.)

Please Read This VERY Carefully, in its entirety.

Those who criticized Groeschel due to that smear article will answer to God for their slander.

'nuff said.

Back to my "fast."

2 posted on 03/06/2003 8:37:01 AM PST by Polycarp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
LOL...so much for you giving up Free Republic for lent.

BigMack

3 posted on 03/06/2003 8:39:59 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
Incredible! Ya mean Mr. Egerton was distorting the facts? Who woulda thunk it.

Thanks for finding and posting Fr. Groeschel's answer(s) to the drive by by Mr. Egerton, although many of us who follow Fr. Groeschel and read his writings or watch his (too few) forays into the media knew the newspaper articles were carefully written to distort and mischaracterize what Fr. Groeschel says and does.

I hope and pray that the few who were quick to judge and condemn a good man will remember not to jump on the secular bandwagon so quickly the next time this happens. It's bad for your soul.

4 posted on 03/06/2003 8:48:30 AM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp; sinkspur
Polycarp, thank you for posting this. I think a brief respite from your abstinence was justifiable and necessary.

From Fr. Groeschel's persepctive, it appears that Mr. Egerton's article was indeed a smear job. I particularly find these parts interesting:

Egerton mentions that 85 priests have returned to the active ministry through Trinity Retreat, implying that some of these priests had difficulties with minors. These were priests on leaves of absence, not priests who had been accused of any misbehavior at all.

I have not been the director of Trinity Retreat for ten years. This retreat for priests has never has been referred to before as a mansion. In fact, I don't even live in the building, I have lived for years in the garage.

I did not decline to be interviewed. I never spoke to Mr. Egerton because I was not at home when he called. After this article I am grateful to God I did not talk to him.

It appears that Mr. Egerton intentionally misread readers into believing the worst, while he himself knew that the facts were not at all what he was implying.

Shame on him for doing so.

Given the choice of believing Fr. Groeschel and the chairman of the Texas chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists, who almost certainly has an ideological axe to grind, who am I to believe? Touch choice. :-)

Methinks I will give Fr. Groeschel the benefit of the doubt until such time as Mr. Egerton produces more than lies and innuendo.

5 posted on 03/06/2003 8:51:00 AM PST by B Knotts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
I'm surprised he can even comment that much on the Hanley case.
6 posted on 03/06/2003 10:01:28 AM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Canticle_of_Deborah
ping
7 posted on 03/06/2003 10:02:01 AM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
Those who criticized Groeschel due to that smear article will answer to God for their slander.

And psychological "experts" who put men back into the active ministry who were active homosexuals or repeat pedophiles will have to do the same.

That's after they answer to the multiple lawsuits still in the wings.

You say the article is a "smear"; it is one side of the story.

As for Ratzinger's remarks, he, like Groeschel, miss the point. The issue is not how many abusers there are or were in the priesthood; the issue is the cover-up by bishops and those who enabled the bishops to carry out that cover-up!

That's the news story, and is a legitimate one.

8 posted on 03/06/2003 10:26:52 AM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
You don't care about any of the distortions in the article, or the fact that the writer concealed his agenda? What's more important the truth, or that ``the right people'' get criticized?
9 posted on 03/06/2003 10:49:57 AM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
Will you issue a "mea culpa" now, or are you going to post a separate thread apologizing for getting fooled and jumping to conclusions based on an agenda-driven, hit-piece?

I forgive you in advance.
10 posted on 03/06/2003 10:50:11 AM PST by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces Ü)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
I'm making an exception to my Lenten FR fast for this VERY important thread!

Thanks for the article. I hope his response gets reprinted in the Dallas Morning News.

11 posted on 03/06/2003 11:12:25 AM PST by Aquinasfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp; american colleen; B Knotts; Siobhan
Thanks for breaking your fast to post this one.

Groeschel puts his case very well and allays the suspicions I had about his good will.

I regret that I doubted him (mea culpa), but I am also glad that he responded to the accusations because it has not only defended his good name, but it has also served to illuminate the misinformation and sleight of hand that Egerton was employing.

Egerton's credibility is down the toilet!
12 posted on 03/06/2003 11:37:24 AM PST by Tantumergo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
Well--based on what I read here, the Dallas journalist has some critical facts wrong--or 'twisted' them to make HIS case.

Yes, the Bishops are a problem. But it does not appear that FrG is nearly as much a problem as the (biased???) reporter would have it---

In fact, it seems that FrG is NO problem at all.
13 posted on 03/06/2003 11:44:27 AM PST by ninenot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The issue is not how many abusers there are or were in the priesthood; the issue is the cover-up by bishops and those who enabled the bishops to carry out that cover-up!

That's the news story, and is a legitimate one.


That being the case, it would be helpful if the journalists in question would quit gunning for the Woodward and Bernstein prize and build the story using complete facts, not half truths and innuendo. Even in the Watergate affair, the Washingtom Post had the courtesy to pass a story by the target before it was printed, true or not. This is sloppy, shoddy, yellow journalism straight out of the William Randolf Hearst vs. Joseph Pulizer playbook.

In addition, why are the actual bishops and cardinals who are guilty of the cover-up not stuck in the spotlight like Groeschel is. Bernardin so far has gotten a pass. People like Mahoney and Adamac should be in the crosshairs, not men like Groeschel who do Christ's work and take the heat for it.
14 posted on 03/06/2003 11:52:45 AM PST by Desdemona (Catholic and not apologizing for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Antoninus
Will you issue a "mea culpa" now, or are you going to post a separate thread apologizing for getting fooled and jumping to conclusions based on an agenda-driven, hit-piece?

No. Groeschel very carefully hides behind patient-doctor privilege in not divulging any details of the men whom he may have recommended be returned to the active ministry.

This is what he should do. However, in this letter he does not address how many active homosexuals who later reoffended he was involved with. None? One? Five? Twelve?

I suspect the only way we will know of the extent of the involvement of any of these "experts" is through court depositions.

Groeschel may be a very holy man, but he was a part of the Church machinery that dealt with these monsters who destroyed the lives of hundreds of kids.

Excuse me if I'm skeptical of "Groeschel-as-victim".

15 posted on 03/06/2003 11:55:27 AM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
You don't care about any of the distortions in the article, or the fact that the writer concealed his agenda?

What "agenda"? You assume, because he's gay, that Egerton has an agenda.

There are Catholics on this forum who, like Ratzinger and Groeschel, do everything they can to blame outside forces (the media, permissive society, Vatican II) for the actions of very sinful men. That's their "agenda."

What's important is what is true. And it's true that Fr. Groeschel advised at least one bishop on the disposition of abusive priests.

If these men abused again, why were they turned loose on the faithful a second, or third, time?

16 posted on 03/06/2003 12:03:08 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
“In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type.

While these abominations may involve less than 1% of Priests, I think that it gets media play because of the number of victims. It's not unusual for a predator Priest to have a huge number of victims. One Priest in San Antonio had abused forty different boys, and had abused many of them multiple times. I think I remember during the Rudy Kos trial the number 1100 as being close to the number of abusive encounters that Kos had committed over the years.

17 posted on 03/06/2003 12:03:50 PM PST by sockmonkey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sockmonkey
I think that it gets media play because of the number of victims. It's not unusual for a predator Priest to have a huge number of victims.

This is what needs to brought out and is not. The actual number of predators was low in comparison to the number of victims. And who knows how many were victimized by any one predator before he was reported. The predators choose carefully - where they think they can get away with it.

It gets media play because of the institution. The Catholic Church will always be a target.
18 posted on 03/06/2003 12:10:17 PM PST by Desdemona (Catholic and not apologizing for it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
In addition, why are the actual bishops and cardinals who are guilty of the cover-up not stuck in the spotlight like Groeschel is.

Law had to quit, Weakland was exposed and crawled away in disgrace, and the clock is ticking on many more bishops (like Grahmann in Dallas) who are being raked over the coals daily in their communities. And deservedly so.

Bernardin so far has gotten a pass.

He's dead. And he's been duly ripped by RCF and others with, of course, no opportunity for him to defend himself.

People like Mahoney and Adamac should be in the crosshairs, not men like Groeschel who do Christ's work and take the heat for it.

They are. But Groeschel worked with priests who abused young people. Because of doctor-patient privilege, we will likely never know just how much bishops relied on his recommendations. Yes, the bishops are ultimately responsible. But the "experts" will get dragged into any legal proceedings because they are, after all, experts.

19 posted on 03/06/2003 12:11:20 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Desdemona
It gets media play because of the institution. The Catholic Church will always be a target.

No. It gets media play because the institutional church, in the personages of large numbers of bishops, did not imitate Him whom it purports to follow.

The Church is a target in regards to sexual abuse because the bishops' first concern was themselves, and not the victims.

That's cold-blooded.

20 posted on 03/06/2003 12:15:09 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
But Groeschel worked with priests who abused young people. Because of doctor-patient privilege, we will likely never know just how much bishops relied on his recommendations.

Hmmmm...I suspect it's more of the seal of the confessional variety, but was he actually involved in the cover-up? Did he actually recommend that abusers be returned to active ministry with children?

Until those two questions can be answered one way or the other, there's no story here.

None of this is going to go public until all parties have passed away.
21 posted on 03/06/2003 12:16:39 PM PST by Desdemona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
Don't you believe he should have revealed that he belonged to that organization? Doesn't that organization have an agenda? Would anyone accept an article written on the issue by member of church hierarchy, while not revealing that he was?
22 posted on 03/06/2003 12:18:16 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The Church is a target in regards to sexual abuse because the bishops' first concern was themselves, and not the victims.

Yes, except for one little thing. Thus far, the only cardinal to resign or even give a hint of resigning is the only one in a major problem diocese who also happened not to be liberal and did not lean toward modernism and dissent. Law has a conscience. It seems that the others don't.

That being said, this is still bad journalism.
23 posted on 03/06/2003 12:21:08 PM PST by Desdemona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
There are Catholics on this forum who, like Ratzinger and Groeschel, do everything they can to blame outside forces (the media, permissive society, Vatican II) for the actions of very sinful men. That's their "agenda."

If you care about what's true than you'll retract this statement. In the above article Fr. Groeschel does not blame those forces for the actions of the sinful men. He blames them for distorting the facts and using them against the Church. There is a big difference. If you're honest, you'll correct the statement.

24 posted on 03/06/2003 12:22:50 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
What's important is what is true.

If you care about what's true, don't the distortions in this article? Do you really want to find out what really happened with Fr. Groeschel, because you seem like you just want to blame him and not look into it. I guess he's guilty by accusation. On other topics, you would be suspicious of the media, but you can't question anything about Catholics?

Basically do you believe there is any difference etween anti-Catholic and anti-molestation?

25 posted on 03/06/2003 12:28:19 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The entire Church?
26 posted on 03/06/2003 12:29:50 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
He blames them for distorting the facts and using them against the Church.

The media has "distorted" nothing. They report the facts. If these facts are used against the Church, then it's the Church's fault.

If bishops hadn't covered all this nonsense up in 1984 when the scandal was gaining critical mass, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Stop blaming the media when the Church gave them the ammunition.

27 posted on 03/06/2003 12:33:24 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Basically do you believe there is any difference etween anti-Catholic and anti-molestation?

I don't understand the question.

28 posted on 03/06/2003 12:37:04 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Don't you believe he should have revealed that he belonged to that organization?

What organizations do you belong to so I can know your agenda.

29 posted on 03/06/2003 12:38:40 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The media has "distorted" nothing. They report the facts.

Oh, please. Get real. When writing copy for any news medium the primary concern is the hook followed by space - be it time or actual column inches. Words are cut (translation: details) based on the available space. There are details left out every day. Journalism is not term paper writing where there is a topic sentence and then supporting sentences woith development. Stories are written with space editing in mind. A whole lot of detail which gives a much better picture of the whole situation was left out of the original story.

Just remember: mundane details don't sell papers. Splashy headlines do. Changing minds is next to impossible once they are set. The sensationalistic headlines did their job. The Church and the hierarchy are now guilty until proven innocent.
30 posted on 03/06/2003 12:44:12 PM PST by Desdemona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
It's a very simple question. Do you believe there is any difference etween anti-Catholic and anti-molestation?
31 posted on 03/06/2003 12:44:22 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The media has "distorted" nothing.

That about sums it up. You believe the media has never made a mistake. They are infallible to you. So much for your talk about caring for what is true.

32 posted on 03/06/2003 12:45:40 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
You aren't sticking to the main thrust of this article and the one it refutes. You are dragging the whole mess into this dust-up between Fr. G. and Mr. E. in order to deflect attention from your original statements in the two other threads you posted regarding Fr. Groeschel.

I think Fr. G. has addressed and answered each "charge" leveled against him by the DMN/BEdgerton, has he not?

What is your problem?

33 posted on 03/06/2003 12:52:44 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Polycarp
I am very glad Fr. Groeschel spoke out. He absolutely had to, however, this issue has become quite the political hot potato. It's not over.

Now get back on the wagon;-)

35 posted on 03/06/2003 1:09:20 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I think Fr. G. has addressed and answered each "charge" leveled against him by the DMN/BEdgerton, has he not?

No. Did he tell Mark Serrano to leave Fr. Hanley alone? Did he scold him for coming forward with accusations of abuse?

Nothing about that here.

The bigger picture is how much did Groeschel know and how many of these abusers was he involved with?

That will come out in a courtroom.

36 posted on 03/06/2003 1:19:07 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
You believe the media has never made a mistake.

A ridiculous overstatement.

The media is largely relaying what it gets from depositions and the previously-sealed folders on these abusive priests.

The media makes lots of mistakes. But you don't like all this messy stuff about the Church becoming public, do you? It's embarrassing, and it should be. But not to you.

Those who should be embarrassed are the bishops and those who helped them cover-up (psychologists, lawyers, doctors, and some family members whose acceptance of payoffs facilitated further abuse. And, of course, the abusive priests themselves).

But, let's get it all out. Sunlight is a great disinfectant.

37 posted on 03/06/2003 1:25:10 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
No. Did he tell Mark Serrano to leave Fr. Hanley alone? Did he scold him for coming forward with accusations of abuse?

Nothing about that here.

I had nothing to do with the reappointment of James Hanley to another parish after he was removed from Mendham as a result of serious accusations of abuse of minors. In fact, I had never heard of the case. I became involved when Hanley came on retreat after he was removed a second time from a new assignment because his picture appeared in the diocesan paper with a group of altar boys. I totally agreed with the Serano family, who apparently acquiesced to his reassignment, that this was a serious violation of a provision that had been given to them, namely, that Hanley not work with minors. No additional charges of misconduct were made as far as I know from Hanley’s second assignment. I strongly suggested that he not be assigned to any parish duties and that he be supervised closely. Hanley at this time was an active AA member and was very remorseful.

I was never involved with such a case before and I was startled by the degree of anger and hurt Hanley’s sinful behavior had generated. Since that time I have worked with a number of victims and I accept their anger as appropriate and say so in my book, From Scandal to Hope (OSV 2002).

The bigger picture is how much did Groeschel know and how many of these abusers was he involved with?

Are you just impugning Fr. G. on your own information or does this have anything to do with the DMN article you posted? You could ask this same exact question of many? most? priests in almost any of the affected dioceses. Stick to the facts as Fr. G. has done. He cannot answer your personal charges against him unless you maybe post your own vanity thread here and ping him or write to him with your question.

That will come out in a courtroom.

Let it all hang out! The sooner the better. I don't believe there is one Catholic out there who disagrees with that.

38 posted on 03/06/2003 1:34:41 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
The quotation from Fr. Groeschel's letter does not refute Serrano's contention that Groeschel questioned why Serrano was hurting Hanley further by bringing charges forward because Hanley was "a sick man." If Serrano is right, Groeschel was more concerned about the priest than about him.
39 posted on 03/06/2003 1:55:23 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
The quotation from Fr. Groeschel's letter does not refute Serrano's contention that Groeschel questioned why Serrano was hurting Hanley further by bringing charges forward because Hanley was "a sick man." If Serrano is right, Groeschel was more concerned about the priest than about him.

"I was never involved with such a case before and I was startled by the degree of anger and hurt Hanley’s sinful behavior had generated. Since that time I have worked with a number of victims and I accept their anger as appropriate and say so in my book, From Scandal to Hope."

40 posted on 03/06/2003 2:03:06 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I was never involved with such a case before and I was startled by the degree of anger and hurt Hanley’s sinful behavior had generated. Since that time I have worked with a number of victims and I accept their anger as appropriate and say so in my book, From Scandal to Hope (OSV 2002).

Well, it appears that Groeschel's compassion did evolve, though it is puzzling to me why a psychologist would not know that sexual abuse was hurtful to the victim and would generate a great deal of anger.

41 posted on 03/06/2003 2:03:06 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
What they teach you in school and how it is in real life is very different sometimes, as you know. Also, who knows what the heck is in psychology courses... depends on what decade they are taught in, right? Is sexual abuse taught with a Kinseyan slant or a Catholic slant?

I would think that being a Catholic priest who had interaction with an alcoholic priest who abused a child in the past and who was truly, honestly repentant and then meeting the victim later (after knowing the priest) would be torn with sympathy for both... you know, the forgiveness thing with us. However, the forgiveness cannot be given to the abusing priest by anyone except the abuse victim.

It would be a hard line to walk - I couldn't do it. However, with additional years of experience, Fr. G. now understands the victims and the anger they have within them. Which is something that I am working on at times --- it's hard to have a lot of sympathy for folks who yell and scream obscenities at you (and your children) when you are trying to enter a church in order to attend Mass. This happens in one particular parish here week after week. Even with Cardinal Law gone. They still verbally abuse and intimidate parishioners who had nothing to do with any of this. In fact, it happened again yesterday at the Lenten Mass. Two dozen protesters outside yelling and screaming and two inside --- stood up and faced backwards while the new bishop gave his homily and when the bishop was done, they left. Tripped leaving the pew, though.

42 posted on 03/06/2003 2:20:32 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: american colleen
They still verbally abuse and intimidate parishioners who had nothing to do with any of this. In fact, it happened again yesterday at the Lenten Mass. Two dozen protesters outside yelling and screaming and two inside --- stood up and faced backwards while the new bishop gave his homily and when the bishop was done, they left. Tripped leaving the pew, though.

Is this VOTF? That kind of stuff is ridiculous. As you say, the parishioners had nothing to do with what Law did, and Law's gone anyway.

They're not going to gain any additional converts with tactics like this.

44 posted on 03/06/2003 2:53:26 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur; sandyeggo
It's a combined effort spearheaded by VOTF. You can see the "Lenten Plan" they have coordinated here -- including a "Good Friday Protest" and Stations of the Cross at 14 of the local parishes where abuse took place - but they'll be using pictures of the victims instead of the pictures of Our Lord. All coordinated to include the presence of the media, of course.

They don't like the interim bishop, Archbishop Lennon because he hasn't aquiesed to their wishes. First they were almost obsequious to him and now, a few months later, since he hasn't given them carte blanche, they are excoriating him.

Here's one of the e-mails from VOTF to other VOTF members:

* Why don't we combine an action at each of Lennon's regional meetings with Mike's idea of a weekly theme? I think we want to be in his face at those regional things, and having a theme each week will give the press something more interesting to cover than the repetitive goings-on inside. I also think we should have a few people inside, in case the format allows us to get near a mike.

* I like the chancery action because it reminds me of Steve Lynch's 40 days, and it also brings us into Lennon's neighborhood. But I think we should do something secular, not churchy. I think each week at the chancery could be coordinated with Mike's idea of a theme.

* Note that Lennon opens his "Lenten Program -- Towards Healing and Holiness" ("initiative" is the Globe's word, not Lennon's) on Ash Wednesday at noon and ends it on 4/17 at 1:00, both at the Cathedral. I think we should there for both.

* Good Friday among Catholics is often marked by Stations of the Cross. Why don't we hire a bus (or do a motorcade) and have a Survivors' Stations, going to 14 scenes of abuse all over Boston, with reporters invited along and media opportunities, ending with a press conference in front of the chancery?

* Since VOTF Central hasn't reacted, is it time to put individual activist VOTF groups like Mike's and Steve's in the media contacts? In the "Why" section, bring the SNAP item up in the list, and say "VOTF members," not "VOTF."


45 posted on 03/06/2003 4:47:26 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
You believe the media has never made a mistake.

A ridiculous overstatement.

It is an overstatement. But you are the one covering up your own words. In post 27, you said ``The media has "distorted" nothing..'' You said it.

46 posted on 03/06/2003 5:16:50 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
But you don't care who made the mistake, you're just using this to beat up on the people you disagree with, whether they did anything or not.
47 posted on 03/06/2003 5:19:05 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
But you don't care who made the mistake, you're just using this to beat up on the people you disagree with, whether they did anything or not.

Nick, I have a hard time following your thought processes some times.

I'm not "beating up" on anybody. I just want everybody to be up front, take responsibility, stop placing blame.

I don't disagree with Fr. Groeschel. But he comes across as very naive in his rebuttal letter. A priest his age has seen everything and knows what's going on.

Enough of the "I just didn't know" nonsense.

48 posted on 03/06/2003 5:43:04 PM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
Egerton says that according to me the sexual abuse scandal is “largely the stuff of fiction”.

I have heard Michael Savage say the same thing on several occasions.

49 posted on 03/06/2003 6:21:35 PM PST by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Polycarp
I became involved when Hanley came on retreat after he was removed a second time from a new assignment because his picture appeared in the diocesan paper with a group of altar boys. I totally agreed with the Serano family, who apparently acquiesced to his reassignment, that this was a serious violation of a provision that had been given to them, namely, that Hanley not work with minors.

This is the stupidest part of this whole scandal, to me.

Paedophiles and Pederasts DON'T just stop "working with minors." You might as well ask a mongoose to leave the snakes alone.

These people are SICK. They are COMPULSIVE and they WILL be compelled to seek out these children even if they have to do it clandestinely.

The only thing to do is REMOVE THEM FROM ANY POSSIBILITY OF CONTACT.

To me, the R/C hierarchy is, at the very least, guilty of gross stupidity in the handling of these people.

50 posted on 03/06/2003 6:25:19 PM PST by Illbay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson