Friday, November 29, 2013

Benedict Joseph Groeschel, with Beret

Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R. (born July 23, 1933) is a Catholic priest, retreat master, author, psychologist, activist and former host of the television talk program Sunday Night Prime, which is broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network. He has also hosted several serial religious specials in addition to Sunday Night Prime. He is the founder of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York as well as a former associate director of Trinity Retreat and a former executive director of the St. Francis House. He is professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York and an adjunct professor at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia. He is one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
In 1960, Groeschel became the chaplain for the Children’s Village, a Dobbs Ferry, New York based facility for emotionally disturbed children. In 1965, he joined the staff of St. Joseph's Seminary and has taught classes at Fordham University, Iona College and Maryknoll Seminary. In 1967, he founded The St. Francis House in Brooklyn, New York, which provides a safe haven for young men looking for a new start in life. The results of his counseling, teaching ability and the manner in which he treated his subjects attracted the attention of many, including Terence Cooke, then Archbishop of New York. In 1974, at the request of Cardinal Cooke, he founded the Trinity Retreat in Larchmont, New York, which provides spiritual direction and retreats for clergy.
Groeschel made controversial comments in a 2012 interview published by the National Catholic Register related to the sexual abuse of children by priests: "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."  He later apologized for his words. 

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