NY Bishop Rape Shames Abuse Victims: Boys Are ‘Culpable’ For Their Actions At 7 Years Old

By Charles Topher | 16 September 2015
Addicting Info

Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham testified in an abuse case that, in the eyes of the Church, the boys who were molested are also at fault.

Bishop Robert Cunningham of the diocese of Syracuse, NY doesn’t think priests should take all of the blame for decades, if not centuries, of sexual abuse against young boys. According to Cunningham, the “age of reason” in the Catholic church is seven, so those boys are culpable for their actions.

The shocking statement came during testimony that was recently released from a deposition for a federal lawsuit. Charles Bailey, a survivor of a priest’s abuse, asked then-Bishop James Moynihan whether the church held children victims partly responsible for sexual abuse from priests . “(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,” said Bailey.

Obviously, the sentiment isn’t something one Bishop believes, but a broader excuse used to cover for the guilt of sexual predators.

The “age of reason” may be seven years old, but that in no way makes it the “age it’s the kid’s fault he was raped.” According to church doctrine, seven is the age a child should understand the difference between right and wrong. It’s also the age a child is eligible for communion.

A spokesman for the diocese has been trying to defend the bishop, saying that his statements in a deposition don’t mean he believes children are responsible for being raped and that it was “unfair to use the deposition to characterize his position otherwise.”

“Unfair may not quite cut it where this man is concerned. When pressed on the issue, he said it wasn’t his place to know how much guilt was on the victim’s hands. The simple answer, “none,” became another distorted version of reality that somehow makes it at least partially a child’s fault when a priest abuses him.

“Well, I mean, without knowing the circumstances completely, did the boy encourage, go along with (it) in any way?” Cunningham asked. The lawyer asked Cunningham if he could imagine any circumstance in which a 14- or 15-year-old boy could be held responsible in the eyes of the church when a priest asks him to engage in sex.

“Obviously, what the priest did was wrong,” Cunningham said. “You’re asking me if the young man had any culpability, and I can’t judge that.”

Actually, you can judge that. Anyone can judge that. What happened is priests used their influence and position as “messengers of God” to force children to comply with their perverted sexual desires. In the very least they were forced to make adult decisions they didn’t have the capacity to make. This bishop and all the priests he defended with this mindless argument betrayed the trust of the parishioners and especially the children of the Diocese of Syracuse.

Charles Bailey has circulated a petition he intends to present to Pope Francis in Philadelphia during his visit to remove Bishop Cunningham as the head of the church there.

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521 COMMENTS

  1. Why don’t they just let them get married? At least that would keep some of them from harming young boys and ruining their lives.

  2. Homosexuals are NOT pedophiles. While your shaming the pedophile clergy and rightfully so try doing some research regarding pedophiles NOT being homosexuals. Homophobic is evident in your comments.

  3. Allowing priests to marry won’t change a child molester! Ever hear of incest? It’s adults sexually molesting a family member that is a child! My father molested me when I was 9. I feared my father! He did tell me that I would think him when I got married! Also, not to tell anyone. If I did I would be the cause of breaking up the family!

    The bishop should be removed!

  4. How are comments like these even possible in the day and age?? Are priests that blinded by their “scripture/teachings” that they can honestly interpret that a 7 year old is able to take responsibility in a situation like this?? Literally have no words. Well, maybe, a few….takr away their protection, dig them out and prosecute them all… clear out the dead wood.

  5. Statistics show that boys rarely report any molestation to anyone. I have always wondered why my church, the Catholic Church, never let woman into that closed circle from the Pope on down. I now believe it is because it was a "boys" club that was kept a close secret. Only altar boys; only male priests and deacons; only male ushers; boys only choirs; etc. Why are they so afraid of women? The nuns take a vow of poverty; not the priests. They handle all the money and some even help themselves to it. This, in my opinion, is like NAMBA….the mens group that believes "sex before 8 or else its too late". And has such secrecy and control? That is why all the secrecy. Until they open up their doors, withholding money is the only way to send them a message. They need it to keep paying off the thousands of victims. I am disgusted with this disgusting behavior. Did these priests just confess their "sin" to another pedofile priest and move on to the next kid??????
    How DARE they preach to us, parents and guardians of our young???? Your house needs a good cleaning and opening of the windows for all to see in.

  6. This again is a disgrace to the Catholic Church. I myself are are catholic and if he were in my state I would petition to have him removed. We have allowed too many times to look away from the sins of these men how dare you ever blame a child.

  7. And it is so sad. I have a seven year old grandson and it would haunt me for the rest of my life if I knew something like that happened to him. At seven, they are so innocent. How could they lay blame on a child that doesn’t even know what sex is.

  8. I have a 7 yr old grandson that I have lived in same household with him from birth on. He has no idea what sex is! If I were in the same situation as some of these parents have been with these disgusting priests violating these children I am afraid I might commit murder. These pedophiles are disgusting to ruin an innocent child’s life by telling them that because they are 7 they have decided these children are the guilty ones. All I can say is I truly hope I get to witness in person what God in Heaven tells these priests on judgement day. I can hear His booming voice now. Depart from me I never knew you! Eternity in hell for these perverts!

  9. What an anti-Christ Bishop to defend paedophile clergy
    In their disgusting and un-natural behaviour. As with the convicted Australian Cardinal, apart from prison sentences, they should be unfrocked, by the Catholic Church

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