Revisionist History Debunked: Yes, Cardinal Bernardin’s Accuser *DID* Recant His Allegation of Abuse [w/ VIDEO]

Michael Voris : Cardinal Bernardin : Richard Sipe

Kooky Michael Voris' Church Militant (l) and the late Richard Sipe (r) have made
an attempt to rewrite history about the accusation against the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

There has been an unfortunate attempt in some sectors of the Catholic media to rewrite an important episode in the Catholic Church sex abuse story.

It is a clear historical fact that on March 1, 1994, Steven Cook, a man who months earlier lodged a stunning accusation that Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin had molested him in Cincinnati in the 1970s, publicly recanted his allegation at a press conference. Yet some Catholic voices, such as the increasingly unhinged Church Militant, are now trying to suggest that, despite the clear facts to the contrary, his retraction never actually happened.

It's even on video

Proponents of the bogus charge against Cardinal Bernardin frequently point to a 2003 statement by the late, angry ex-priest Richard Sipe in which Sipe claimed:

"It is a fact that Bernardin's accuser did not ever retract his allegations of abuse by anyone's account other than Bernardin's."

The fact that Sipe could have made such a statement is truly bizarre, since Cook fully retracted his accusation against Bernardin at a public press conference that was widely televised and reported. In fact, one can still watch video from that very day:

Indeed, as shown in the video, at the press conference Cook clearly stated:

"I am voluntarily dismissing these claims of my own free will, with no pressure or threats from anyone. I am doing this because it's the right thing to do

"I now realize that the memories which arose during and after the hypnosis are unreliable. In fact, if I knew at the time I filed the lawsuit what I know today, I would never have included Cardinal Bernardin in it."

In truth, Cook's accusation against Bernardin arose from a completely discredited therapeutic practice called "hypnosis therapy," a form of "repressed memory therapy" that belongs in the trash heap of pseudomedicine along with lobotomies and bloodletting.

And making matters even worse in the case, the therapist who claimed to "uncover" the "memories" of Cook's abuse through hypnosis was not even a licensed therapist but a woman whose day job was "running a graphic arts business." And, indeed, when Cook had visited another therapist more than a decade earlier, one who was actually a "recognized expert in the field, [Cook] said nothing of abuse by Bernardin, even while under hypnosis."

Had the case ever moved forward, Cook's own witnesses would have exonerated Bernardin!

We hope that readers spread this post far and wide so this ugly falsehood about Cardinal Bernardin does not propagate any further.


  1. Claire Dion says:

    Great report David,  Too bad that Fr. Gordon MacRae's accuser does not have a conscience and neighter does the New Hampshire legal system or Catholic Church in NH.