NY--"Denounce Syracuse bishop," group says

For immediate release: Sunday, Sept. 13

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, [email protected])

Two Syracuse bishops have blamed victims of predator priests for their victimization. 


Bishop Robert Cunningham will duck, dodge and deny. But he was asked a clear, simple question: "did the (abused) boy commit a sin?" He made a clear, simple reply: "The boy is culpable."

And his predecessor, Bishop James Moynihan, told abuse victim Charles Bailey 'The age of reason is 7, so if you're at least 7 you're culpable for your actions.'

These are inexcusable, irresponsible comments from powerful, smart men. They will deter others who were raped and sodomized from reporting criminals and protecting kids.

This warped, self-serving view – that a child is to blame for his or her victimization by a priest - stems from the exalted and 'superior' status clerics give themselves. Bishops think this way because they've been indoctrinated since childhood to believe that the ordained are 'above' the common folk.

Bishops often talk of "the dignity of every person." But deep down, many of them are convinced that they really are better than the rest of us, which is why many of them almost compulsively blame others when clerics commit crimes.

We hope Syracuse Catholics will be so disgusted by these mean-spirited remarks that they stop donating to institutions that hide abuse and give instead to agencies that fight abuse.

We also hope Cunningham's brother bishops will harshly and publicly denounce him, so that hurtful comments like this are deterred.

And we hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Syracuse will find the courage to speak up, expose wrongdoers, protect kids, seek justice and start healing, by first seeking independent sources of help and NOT reporting to corrupt, self-serving Catholic officials.

(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)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected][email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747[email protected])


Child victims partly to blame in priest sex-abuse cases, Syracuse bishop testified

By John O'Brien | [email protected],  September 13, 2015 at 8:55 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The victims of child-molesting priests are partly to blame for their own abuse, the bishop of Syracuse said in a sworn deposition that revealed his views on the church's sex abuse scandal.

Bishop Robert Cunningham testified in a 2011 deposition in response to a federal lawsuit filed by a man who said a priest in the Syracuse diocese sexually abused him as a child.

The man's lawyer asked Cunningham whether, in the eyes of the church, a child molested by a priest has  . . .

Read full story here

Showing 2 comments

  • Iain Pattison
    commented 2015-09-15 10:34:59 -0500
    Good post SNAP.
    You have ‘hit the nail on the head’ when you say “But deep down many of them (bishops) are convinced that they really are better than the rest of us”. You are absolutely right to call them big-heads because that’s what they are. But to be honest it is all of them, not just the bishops. The further you go up the hierarchy the more big headed and selfish they get.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-09-13 12:24:41 -0500

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