TW for victim-blamey rape culture bullshit? I mean, duh.
Father Groeschel, a founder of the Catholic ex-gay group Courage and director of the Office of Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, had the following to say about the subject of child abuse:
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 … It’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.
It’s an understandable thing …
Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice.
Shorter Fr. Groeschel’s thought process: “We should treat the genders equally, and yet we blame women for their rapes and erase the fact that men can be raped. I should blame men for their rapes! That way we will be treating everyone the same, which is just.” Because, seriously, I’m not sure what else he could be possibly thinking.
Look. Let me put it in the nicest way possible.
First, if someone is looking for a father figure or, hell, just thinks you’re really fucking hot, and they’re not of legal age or you are in a position of power over them, it is your responsibility to politely refuse them. Even if you’re having a nervous breakdown! Even if they’re flirting with you really hard! Even if they’re gorgeous! Because you should not sleep with people who cannot give good consent, and people who are too young or too powerless cannot give good consent.
Second, if someone is capable of giving good consent, and they have consented to embracing, kissing, and sleeping in the same bed, but not to anything else, you are not allowed to do anything else with them. A kiss is not blanket consent for literally anything you could think of doing with someone sexually. Just like I am not allowed to hit people who have consented to have anal or oral sex with me, no matter how much I like hittysex, you are not allowed to have anal or oral sex with people who have consented to kiss you, no matter how much you want to do so.
Third, there are lots of reasons why the kids wouldn’t report that Sandusky raped them, and very little of it is because “they secretly wanted it” or whatever implication he’s going for there. (Quite a lot of it was because of the rape culture of Penn State.)
Fourth, I’m pretty sure most people aren’t objecting to priests having sex with 18-year-old men, any more than they objected to priests having girlfriends. That’s more your sex-negative and homophobic bullshit than anything. They’re objecting to priests having sex with, to quote the first sentence of the Wikipedia article, “children as young as 3 years old with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14.”
But I’m sure that diaper was so bloody seductive.
The article has been taken down and replaced with a handful of fauxpologies. Apparently he’s really old, as if when you turn seventy your brain naturally starts producing rapeamine and then you can’t help being a rape apologist, and he was in a car accident, as if a common symptom of being in a car accident is being an asshole and waaaaah why is everyone so mean he didn’t mean to blame the victim!
[Intent: it’s fucking magic! sparkly text.]
Also, they’re making a lot of bleaty noises about what a nice person he was. Look, I congratulate myself on being a pretty nice person. (Except in my comment section, which I rule with an iron fist as the masses quake in fear.) But if I start saying anything that suggests that the victims of child rape were asking for it, I expect everyone to be pissed the fuck off at me. I’m not going to be all “well, I give ten percent of my income to charity, and I’m vegan, and I buy fair trade and local whenever I can, and I try to always have a kind and supportive word for everyone and to give people who aren’t in my comment section the benefit of the doubt and to be forgiving of everyone, even my parents, although that last one’s hard.” It is not like once you have enough Good Person Points you get to cash some of them in and start being gratuitously an asshole. I don’t care if Dorothy freaking Day decided it was suddenly a good idea to blame people for their own rape, it would still be a shitty thing to do. Bad things do not magically become good things when good people do them.
Unbelievably, some Catholics are defending this asshole. Fortunately, most members of my former religion are sensible and empathetic human beings who are against justifying child rape.