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

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 101-117 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]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 101-117 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