“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.”
This crazy US bishop is verbalising what a lot of them really think but are too cute to say.
They will blame everyone else for the church’s woes except themselves.
It is they – the abusers and the cover-uppers who bear responsibility for the current and future state of the church.
But blaming a 7 year old boy for the abuse is a like being a holocaust denier.
These bishops will never get the message until they end up like Pell – in prison.
DERRY DIOCESAN APPOINTMENTS 2019
The Bishop of Derry, Bishop Donal McKeown, has announced the following clerical changes, effective 23rd August 2019:
Rev Paul Fraser, CC Creggan, to be PP Ardstraw West & Castlederg and PP Termonamongan;
Rev Colm O’Doherty, PP Ardstraw West & Castlederg, to be PP Clonleigh and Adm Urney & Castlefin;
Rev Francis Bradley, PP Buncrana and Chancellor of the Diocese of Derry, to be, in addition, PP Burt, Inch & Fahan;
Rev Michael Porter, PP Urney & Castlefin, to have one-year sabbatical before taking up his duties again as PP next year;
Rev Micheál McGavigan, Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, to be, in addition, Adm Banagher;
Rev Patrick Baker, PP Banagher, to be CC pro tem Limavady;
Rev Daniel McFaul, CC Cappagh, to be CC Creggan;
Rev Declan McGeehan, newly ordained, to be CC Cappagh;
Rev Kevin Mulhern, on loan from the Society of African Missions, to be CC Burt, Inch and Fahan in addition to his ministry with the chaplaincy team of HMP Magilligan;
Rev Ciaran Hegarty, on loan from the Diocese of Down & Connor, to be CC pro tem Urney & Castlefin;
Rev John Gilmore, PP Termonamongan, to retire;
Rev Edward Kilpatrick, PP Clonleigh, to retire;
Rev Neil McGoldrick, PP Burt Inch & Fahan, to retire;
Rev John Downey, upon retirement as CC Ballinascreen, to remain in residence in the parish.
+ Donal McKeown
Bishop of Derry