The Diocese of Fresno’s new bishop has denounced comments made by a priest’s defense attorney targeting alleged victims of sexual abuse, calling the statements “unacceptable.”

Rev. Joseph V. Brennan’s statement came Friday afternoon, two days after an advocacy group demanded he make a public apology over comments made by Bakersfield attorney Kyle Humphrey.

Humphrey is representing Monsignor Craig Francis Harrison after allegations of sexual abuse against the priest emerged in Firebaugh and Merced. 

In late April, Humphrey told the Bakersfield Californian the diocese’s request asking anyone with information about alleged abuse to come forward was like “inviting the pigs to line up the trough for whatever their needs are.”

In Friday’s statement, Brennan said, public comments made about people with stories of abuse should be supportive. “It is most disturbing to me that public statements are made that sometime contain vile and filthy language in regards to child sex abuse victims,” the statement read. “That kind of language is ugly, mean spirited, dismissive and unacceptable.”

Brennan said he will do his best to listen and act in a way that is mindful of victims and survivors, as well as to help others do the same.

He also expressed his sorrow about those who have been abused “at the hands of clergy or at the hands of anyone for that matter.”

Full story at The Fresno Bee.