Priests ensnared by little boys

A priest in Australia has been charged with hiding child sexual assaults by another priest.

He didn’t just hide them, either, he caned two boys who reported being assaulted.

Father Brennan, 74, was arrested and charged yesterday with two counts of  misprision of a felony – failing to disclose a serious crime – relating to alleged child sex offences by defrocked priest John Denham against two boys in  the late 1970s.

The offences allegedly occurred at St Pius X, in the Newcastle suburb of  Adamstown, where Father Denham was a teacher and Father Brennan was school principal.

In addition Father Brennan, of Toronto, south of Newcastle, was charged with assaulting the two boys by caning them after they allegedly reported being  sexually assaulted by Father Denham, 70.

“Compassion is at the heart of every great religion.” Karen Armstrong.

One of the  men from the Hunter Valley, who alleged Father Brennan caned him in 1978 after he alleged Father Denham had repeatedly sexually assaulted him at the school, thanked police for a determined investigation.

”If this makes one person stand up and say, ‘This is what happened to me’, then I’ll feel better,” he said.

Another Hunter man, who also alleged Father Brennan caned him after he alleged Father Denham had repeatedly sexually assaulted him at the school, said it was ”great news”.

”I feel better now that I’ve got it off my chest after saying nothing for all these years, but there’s still a dark side of it,” he said.

Probably because of the 34 years it took before Pa Brennan was charged.

But, hey, the boys probably seduced Pa Denham. That’s what they do you know.

A Catholic newspaper has removed an interview from their website in which a priest said that pedophiles are seduced by children in “a lot of the cases” and the abusers should not go to jail.

During an interview with National Catholic Register, 78-year-old Father Benedict Groeschel was asked about his experience working with priests involved in abuse.

Mmmmyes, and of course (assuming there is any truth in that, which I haz my doubts) the adult has no responsibility whatever to resist the child’s “seduction.”

You know what’s scary about that?

Groeschel has a PhD in psychology from Columbia University and hosts a television talk show on the Eternal Word Television Network, which also owns National Catholic Register.

That’s what. A PhD in psychology from Columbia.



  1. 'Tis Himself says

    I understand it’s fairly common for pedophiles to claim to have been seduced by the children they rape.

  2. sheila says

    I wonder if “the children seduced me” is a variation on adult rape victims “asking for it”?

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    sheila #3

    They’re both forms of victim blaming. “Nope, not my fault, they were asking for it.”

  4. GordonWillis says

    As a matter of fact, sheila, I think that it probably is. Many people cannot accept that the vulnerability of others is intimately connected with their own ability to become predators, should they choose to put their own preferences over the interests of someone else. It’s what we atheists have been discovering, over the last year. Either “she asked for it” or “she was there, and I have a right”.

  5. wmdon says

    In the interests of accuracy, the priest who did the caning was not the same as the one who committed the sexual assaults.

    Which, of course, simply makes the whole rotten scenario that much worse.

  6. karmacat says

    Unfortunately, a degree in psychology doesn’t make you immune to denial, projection and rationalization. A psychologist in any other setting would be in big trouble for not reporting suspected abuse. Groeschal doesn’t realize how “privileged
    he is being in the Catholic church

  7. GordonWillis says

    In the interests of accuracy, the priest who did the caning was not the same as the one who committed the sexual assaults.

    That is true, of course. However, it doesn’t alter the force of shelia’s point. Rather, it merely introduces the further consideration that there is often a hierarchy or social force which protects predators, whether that hierarchy or force is the priesthood, the male rights establishment, unreconstructed atheists or Undercover Stalkers/Paedophiles Anonymous, etc. In the case of the hierarchy, it’s a matter of covering tracks to protect its image. In the case of the social force, it’s a matter of gut reaction and “I wouldn’t do that of course obviously but, you know, people ask for it,and I’m not saying they deserve it but the fact is that sometimes they do and why blame someone who gives it to them?”.

  8. GordonWillis says

    Perhaps I should clarify that. The social force is made up of those who see no reason why they shouldn’t do what the accused has done. They want “the right” to do it, too.

  9. GordonWillis says

    Sorry to do a third post in a row, but thinking about how I said “do what the accused has done” (referring to the specific case, but I still should have said that the accused was only alleged to have done it — makes no difference to my point, but I should have said it that way nonetheless) I note following in the OP:

    after they allegedly reported

    Does this mean that someone alleged that they reported, or does it mean that they made a report in an allegatory manner (i.e. a report which made certain allegations)? I suspect that the latter is intended, but it isn’t just a grammatical quibble here, especially as the “report” was probably more a matter of accusation than mere allegation: I mean, people were saying what had happened to them, not what they suspected might have happened to someone they just happened to know rather intimately. The form of words is worrying: probably just careless, but still worrying.

  10. Sgaile-beairt says

    Groeschel also helped found and run for many years one of those ex-gay groups, this one was called “Courage” plus he wrote and lectured on “the Courage to be Chaste” so TEH SEXXORS has been one ofhis big obsessions for a long long time.

    i’m with those who are not going to be surprised when it comes out that he was “seduced” by one of the kids he was counseling….

  11. says

    “Father Brennan also faces eight counts of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old boy at Corpus Christi church in the Newcastle suburb of Waratah in 1984 and 1985. Father Tom Brennan faced court on perverting the course of justice today.

    “There have been 11 deaths by suicide or drug overdose of men who had been students at St Pius X, the most recent being a 45-year-old father of two who took his own life on July 22. He left his family a note saying he was in ”too much pain” after decades of torment.”

    If the Catholic Church was a business, it would probably be sent broke by the constant scandals. Its biggest assets are congregations’ fears of the fires of Hell, and the simultaneous allure of Heaven. How long that can last is anyone’s guess, particularly since we have it on the authority of Sydney’s Cardinal Pell that atheists can get to Heaven.


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