Thursday, August 30, 2012


The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal sincerely apologizes for the comments made by Fr. Benedict Groeschel in an interview released yesterday by the National Catholic Register, online addition. In that interview, Fr. Benedict made comments that were inappropriate and untrue. A child is never responsible for abuse. Any abuser of a child is always responsible, especially a priest. Sexual abuse of a minor is a terrible crime and should always be treated as such. We are sorry for any pain his comments may have caused. Fr. Benedict has dedicated his life to helping others and these comments were completely out of character. He never intended to excuse abuse or implicate the victims. We hope that these unfortunate statements will not overshadow the great good Fr. Benedict has done in housing countless homeless people, feeding innumerable poor families, and bringing healing, peace and encouragement to so many.

Fr. Benedict helped found our community 25 years ago with the hope of bringing the healing peace of Jesus Christ to our wounded world. Our desire has always been to lift-up humanity and never to hurt. About seven years ago, Fr. Benedict was struck by a car and was in a coma for over a month. In recent months his health, memory and cognitive ability have been failing. He has been in and out of the hospital. Due to his declining health and inability to care for himself, Fr. Benedict had moved to a location where he could rest and be relieved of his responsibilities. Although these factors do not excuse his comments, they help us understand how such a compassionate man could have said something so wrong, so insensitive, and so out of character. Our prayers are with all those who have been hurt by his comments, especially victims of sexual abuse.

Personal Statement from Fr Benedict Groeschel:

I apologize for my comments. I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible. My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone.

With questions please contact Fr. Glenn Sudano at 914-965-8143.


  1. ofcourse I don’t believe in Hell,
    but it seems that those who do will burn there.

    You say 'abusers are always responsible' : that's the truth, but it's not the whole truth. others share some responsibility too.

    Providing an environment that nurtures a culture of abuse - by providing an enabling setting, actively undermining victims, excusing the crimes of perpetrators, supporting accused offenders and quietly relocating those who do evade public scrutiny - is as inexcusable as the abuse itself.

    Apparently Fr Benedict's cognitive abilities have recently failed him. That's sad. But what excuse do the rest of you have?

    Damn you all, those who stand with you, and all that you stand for.

  2. I've heard Fr. Benedict speak of his concerns for priests falsely accused, of which there are many. I know of some myself. I, as well as I am sure Fr. Groeschel, have sympathy and prayers for all who stand abused, alone, or forgotten. It's at the core of our being.

    And I am sure that if I were chastised, belittled, and punished for the times I misspoke and someone felt pain by my words, I would have nothing. I cast no stones.