A Story Of Alleged Sexual Assault In The Catholic Church

The Jambar

November 28, 2018

By Alyssa Weston and John Stran

A Trumbull County man in his 40s said he was driving from a relative’s funeral when his girlfriend received a news alert on her cell phone that said the Youngstown Catholic Diocese released the names of 34 religious figureheads who were removed from the clergy over credible sexual misconduct allegations.

When he realized priest John P. Cunningham’s name was on the list, he “immediately broke down and started crying.”

The man spoke to The Jambar on the condition of anonymity about his experience with sexual abuse at St. Stephen of Hungary Catholic Church with Father Cunningham, deceased, who was recently listed as a credibly accused perpetrator of sexual assault by the Diocese of Youngstown.

In October, the Diocese released the names of 31 Youngstown priests, two religious clergy members and one non-clergy member from a religious order. The release of this list was met with an uproar of mixed emotions throughout Youngstown. Confusion spread from Catholics and non-Catholics alike — the goal of peace and change within the church and painful memories for the alleged victims.

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