NY--Syracuse bishop will keep hiding predators
For immediate release: Thursday, May 14
In perhaps the most disingenuous way possible, Syracuse’s Catholic bishop is keeping names of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests secret. He’s blaming victims for his recklessness, callousness and cowardice.
Bishop Robert Cunningham will keep withholding names of potentially dangerous clerics from the public. He claims some victims don’t want child molesting clerics to be exposed. This is disingenuous. Frankly we doubt he’s telling the truth. But even if he is, Cunningham should have the courage to put the actual physical safety of children above the supposed wishes of an adult to shield an adult who assaults kids.
In the world’s oldest and most rigid hierarchy, in which bishops wield virtually limitless power and parishioners have virtually none, Cunningham pretends to be ‘democratic’ and claims he’s essentially letting victims vote on whether police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public should
And since there’s supposedly a virtual tie, Cunningham will continue with the same self-serving secrecy about predators that has led to 6,300 US priests being accused of assaulting more than 100,000 children.
(For citations, see BishopAccountability.org)
In an equally disingenuous move, Cunningham claims he will confirm a predator priest’s name if a victim discloses it first. He knows full well that a victim can rarely “disclose” a predator’s name without a criminal case or a civil lawsuit, both of which are extremely rare and difficult under New York’s archaic, predator-friendly laws with extremely tight deadlines.
Our hearts go out to Kevin Braney and everyone who was and will be sexually violated by Syracuse priests. We hope that every single one of them – plus every witness, whistle-blower and concerned church member – will find the courage to try to protect kids and expose those who omit and conceal child sex crimes by calling police, lawyers, therapists and groups like ours.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.