Syracuse's Catholic bishop, sexual abuse and the harm that words can do
By Editorial Board, September 18, 2015, Syracuse.com
Adding insult to abomination, the Catholic bishop of Syracuse testified in 2011 that a child sexually abused by a priest was "culpable'' and "an accomplice'' in his own victimization.
Bishop Robert Cunningham's stinging words, spoken as he was questioned for a lawsuit filed by the victim of the abuse, were reported Sept. 13 by Syracuse.com and The Post-Standard.
They sent a wave of shock and horror through the community of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
The bishop was quick to issue a public letter attempting to clarify his views. "Victims of abuse are never at fault!'' he wrote. ". . . It is obvious . . . "
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.