The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
New bishop, clergy sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Director 314 862 7688
Because of New York's archaic, predator-friendly child sex abuse laws, the public has learned little of how Bishop Robert J. Cunningham has dealt with child molestation and cover up in Ogdensburg. But there's no reason to assume he'll be any better at protecting kids or healing victims. It's best to err on the side of caution, not complacency.
Liberal or conservative, outspoken or quiet, almost all US bishops still tend to do the absolute bare minimum when it comes to child sex cases, opting to safeguard their own reputations from public damage instead of safeguarding their flocks from real harm.
We urge Catholics, citizens and especially abuse victims, to not confuse a less hostile demeanor or a lower media profile with a more active child safety effort or a more pastoral victim outreach effort. It’s still crucial that anyone with information about clergy sex crimes and cover ups contact independent sources first - police, prosecutors, therapists, support groups - before contacting church staff. No matter who is bishop, child sex crimes should be reported to and investigated by the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in the church hierarchy.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around since 1988 and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Diocese of Ogdensburg Priest Resigns over Sex Abuse Claim
Newswatch 50 [New York] - June 7, 2006
A Catholic priest has resigned as pastor of two Adirondack churches after being accused of "inappropriate sexual behavior."
Bishop Robert Cunningham of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg has announced that The Reverend John Hunt has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into an incident alleged to have occurred more than ten years ago.
Hunt is pastor of Saint Bartholomew's parish in Old Forge in Herkimer County and Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hamilton County. The Watertown Daily Times reports that diocese learned of the accusation last month.
Father Hunt has also worked in parishes in Watertown, Ogdensburg and Potsdam since being ordained in 1969.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests