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Priest posts regrets for sex-abuse comments

(Associated Press) A New York priest apologized Thursday after coming under criticism for saying that priests accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers and that a first-time offender should not go to jail.

The Rev. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register published this week. The website for the conservative independent Register then removed the story and posted an apology for publishing the comments. Groeschel and the friars did as well.

Asked about working with priests involved in abuse, Groeschel said, “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.”