Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bishop of Syracuse, New York: Victims Of Predatory Priests Are "Culpable"

Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham - Mr. blame the victim
I grew up through high school in the Diocese of Syracuse, New York, and was an altar boy for 10 years and on a number of occasions served at mass and other services with the then Bishop of Syracuse.  At that point in time, priests were afforded god like deference and very dew adults much less minors would dare challenge the word of a priest or a bishop.  Now, the current occupant of the bishopric of Syracuse, Robert Cunningham, has testified under oath that the victims of predator priest shared in culpability with the predatory priests who sexually molested them.  The mindset is akin to that of those who are only too ready to blame female rape victims of "having asked for it."  It's disgusting and one cannot help but wonder where is Pope Francis when it comes to disciplining  this foul douche bag.  The New Civil Rights Movement looks at these despicable statements.  Here are highlights:
Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia next week, and a group of survivors who were abused by Catholic priests plan to present him with a petition to remove Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham from his position, after it came to light that the bishop testified in an abuse case that, in the eyes of the Church, the boys who were molested are also at fault. 

Bishop Cunningham made the statement under oath, during a 2011 deposition during a federal lawsuit brought by a man who accused a priest in Bishop Cunningham's diocese of sexually abusing him as a child.

The lawyer representing the victim asked Bishop Cunningham whether, in the eyes of the church, a child molested by a priest has committed a sin. Bishop Cunningham answered:
"The boy is culpable." 
Charles Bailey and Kevin Braney, survivors of priest sexual abuse, are planning an online petition which they will present to Pope Francis, asking to have Bishop Cunningham removed. Mr. Bailey told that he was not surprised by Bishop Cunningham's testimony:
"(Bishop) Moynihan said that right to my face – 'The age of reason is 7, so if you're at least 7 you're culpable for your actions.' That kind of floored me."
Bishop Cunningham has been desperately trying to walk back his testimony ever since it became public earlier this month - quite inopportune timing with the Pope on the way. 

Patrick Wall, who has testified as an expert witness in the criminal trials of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse, called Bishop Cunningham's testimony "preposterous."
"There's no way, either in law or in moral theology or in canon law which Bishop Cunningham is trained in," said Mr. Wall, "that a child can consent to that crime."
Along with his own words from the 2011 deposition, the survivors plan to complain to Pope Francis about Bishop Cunningham's refusal to publicly release the names of the priests against whom the diocese has found credible allegations of child molestation. The survivors say they will also present evidence that priests from other dioceses with child-molestation allegations against them have been sent to a retirement home for priests in Syracuse.
There is more, but the take away is that if Pope Francis is truly contrite for the world wide criminal conspiracy that allowed thousands and thousands of children and minors to be sexually abused, then action should be taken against Cunningham.   I continue to believe that those who see Francis as a wind of change are indulging in a fantasy.  I'd love to be proven wrong, but I doubt that I will be proven wrong.

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