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.

Archbishop of St. Louis Robert Carlson on criminal child sexual abuse

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528 COMMENTS

  1. What planet are these perverse monsters living on to allow such physical and emotional torture of children to continue? That’s right, this one.. Where so little is said about vile religions because one may inadvertently hurt a church goers feelings…

  2. Is this bishop on trial for molesting children? If not, he should be investigated because this is the response of a pedophile! They don’t see anything wrong with what they do to children and they place the blame on the child for being “seductive” or “promiscuous”. Any child at the age of 7 does know right from wrong however they are not able to do much more than say no and try to get away only to be over powered by the adult male. This is true for most children up until they know they are on equal ground physically. However, that is most likely when the priest is going to use the guilt trick of “God’s will” or ” I am here to comfort you” or whatever other line of bullshit they what to put out there to this teenager to get them to comply. NO! I place full responsibility on the priest and his knowing what is right from wrong and the abuse of his authority over children! And PLEASE someone investigate Bishop Cunningham as to whether he himself is guilty of child rape!

  3. So is Archbishop of St. Louis Robert Carlson trying to say he didn’t know it was a sin to have sex with anyone you weren’t married to (in the Church’s eyes) back in the 70’s????? I went to Catholic school my entire life and they were most happy to share the rules with as far back as the 50″s. AND believe me we were told no sex outside of marriage let alone with a 7 year old child. How dare he even attempt this kind of subterfug!
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