Fr. Benedict Groeschel Resigns from EWTN

The fallout continues over comments made by Father Benedict Groeschel to the National Catholic Register last week in which he suggested that minors often seduce priests in sex abuse cases, with the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) announcing that Father Groeschel will step down as host of Sunday Night Prime.

EWTN president Michael Warsaw published a statement asking for forgiveness after the EWTN-owned National Catholic Register published an interview with Father Groeschel in which he expressed his belief that priests are often seduced by minors in sex abuse cases and that first offenders should not necessarily be sent to jail. Father Groeschel later apologized for the remarks, saying that he did not intend to “blame the victim” and affirmed that a priest or anyone else who abuses a minor is “always always wrong” and “always responsible.”

In his statement, Warsaw said Father’s comments do not reflect the views of EWTN or the paper and should never have been published.

“It should have been obvious to the editor that Father Benedict’s physical condition and mental clarity have deteriorated and that the comments were completely inconsistent with his life’s work and witness,” Warsaw said. “We apologize that these remarks were published and ask for forgiveness for this error.”

He goes on to say that regular viewers of EWTN can see that Father Groeschel’s health has been declining.

“For more than a year, the Network has been in discussions with both Father and his Community about his capacity to continue hosting Sunday Night Prime. This is the reason that the program moved from a live to a pre-recorded format last year. In more recent months Father Benedict’s decline has accelerated.

“After consultation with EWTN and the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Father Benedict has decided that it is now time to step away from the program. The Sunday Night Prime program will continue and will be hosted by other priests of the CFR community.”

Warsaw expressed only praise for Father Groeschel’s lifetime of service to God’s people.

“Father Benedict has led a life of tremendous compassion and service to others and his spiritual insights have been a great gift to the EWTN family for many years. We are profoundly grateful to him and assure him of our prayers. At the same time, we ask our EWTN family to pray for all those who have been affected by this painful situation and in particular those who have been victims of sexual abuse.”

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8 Response to “Fr. Benedict Groeschel Resigns from EWTN

  1. Father Groeschel is a faithful servant of God who has richly blessed his community, those whom have benefited from his shepherding grace via community service in NY and via EWTN. It is sad that his remarks held a severing ability that now seperates him from all the good he has done, as if it were his intent to blame the victim. It is the sign of the times is it not that his words, poorly chosen tho they be could not be measured to the ministry of the man! May God bless him and may he know that he has been a great blessing to many many people who love, care and respect him and will always be grateful to God for his care of the sheepfold!

  2. Good morning. I listened to WOG this morning between classes and heard Jonette and Sue talk about the book God Calling. I was shocked to hear that it is not a recommended reading. I would like to know more about ths book from a Catholic perspective. I personally relate to most of the readings because it is like reflecting on what I feel God is calling me to work on in my life to be a better person for His Kingdom. Please tell me if it opposes our Catholic Faith in following God. Sue mentioned something about forced writting or something that means it is a cultic type of read. Please help me understand. Thank you! Sincerely, David Mills

    • An explanation of why God Calling is not based on Catholic teaching but is actually occultic can be found in this blog Regardless of how well these “revelations” might appeal to you, there are serious doctrinal errors in this book and it should be discarded at once.

  3. EWTN has also pulled Fr. Groeschels radio programs off the air, “The Rosary is a Place” and “The Wisdom of Father Groeschel”. Have been listening for years. I wrote to EWTN regarding this and asked for the shows to be returned and received only the statement included in your article. I see no reason why these programs need to be removed, I’m very disappointed with EWTN.

  4. I am heart sick about what has taken place with Fr. Groeschel. He has done so much for so many and now it seems as though he has no support. Hopefully EWTN will not let this unfortunate incident stop them from airing Father’s past programs. They are treasures and are already greatly missed. I pray that God will bless Father Groeschel and that EWTN will return his programs to the airwaves.

  5. Not only has EWTN pulled Fr. Groeschel’s radio programs but they appear to have also pulled the many years of archival videos for sale of his Sunday Night Live and Sunday Night Prime tv programs. I also couldn’t find any of his many books in their catalog (I believe they had stocked many of these prior to now.)

  6. Father Groeschel, I feel, forgot who he was speaking to ie not professionals who always take all variables into account. Score one for the devil, a big one. God help us now that his guidance has been lost. Dr Thomas Kabisch

  7. I’m so disapointed with EWTN over Fr. Groeschel. It’s like he never existed. They’ve pulled his show off the air and his older shows that used to be repeated. They’ve also, pulled his Rosary off the air that used to be on EWTN Radio. I, too got the Form Letter when I wrote to them about how they’ve treated Fr. Groeschel and have gotten no answer…after supporting and donating EWTN for years! Mother Angelica would not have done this…

    So sad — I thought EWTN was the last bastion of hope for Catholics.