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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501 COMMENTS

  1. This Bishop Cunningham should be kicked out of the church. When I read what he said it made me so angry . I was about that age when a priest that had just arrived from Ireland pulled down my pants and put his hand on my bear behind . I was in complete shock . It was not my fault , he was an adult and knew what he was doing . I hope they kick this terrible person out of the church .

  2. Bishop Cunningham High School in Oswego, NY was a hunting ground for preditor priests. Father Chester Misercolas nickname was Chester the Child Molester. School staff and parents just looked away.

  3. AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 7…I wasn’t even aware what the word RAPE or SEX even meant.

    My parents were still teaching me to behave and respect my elders!!

    I am a Christian, I believe GOD has a special place for people like these sick, twisted, baby raping, Satin worshiping pieces of shyte!

  4. The Naptist Church is finding it’s own nests & traditions of sexual abuse of children, it may not top the sick cathics but pretty bad! Imagine what goes on in 3rd World Countries!! Jesus loves this I am sure!

  5. I grew up in the Syracuse area and although I was Catholic and an altar boy, I was fortunately not molested by a priest but I sure did hear a lot of stories from Bishop Cunningham school and from the diocese in general. Absolutely sickening and truly a stain on the Catholic Church that I, frankly, cannot ignore.

  6. There’s no reason for these boys getting rape, these boys look up to these priests, in their eyes, priest are like God shame on the priest obviously are the culprit.

  7. It is an utter disgrace.
    I stopped going to the Catholic Church many years ago due to cover ups by bishops of priests who abused kids. These priests were moved to other parishes or abroad. It sickened me and I could no longer go inside any church. It has happened in other religions too.
    I still believe in God but not in the church or any organised religious group.

    • Prepare to be disappointed. Neither you nor they will survive your or their death. A criminal court with a human judge is what they should face and those that protected them.
      The only good that may come out of this is that more people will stop believing in this nonsense and this death cult will slowly wither and die

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