"It sounds like a very unspiritual practice, to blame others for your own faults," Higgins said. "I think there are scriptures that talk about pulling a log out of your own eye before you blame others, and I think they should practice what they preach."
His brother, who Higgins says was also abused by the same priest, committed suicide as a teenager.
"I wasn't even really sure what had happened until I was old enough to really understand," Higgins told ABC News as he held a picture of himself as a boy. "It pretty much destroyed our family."
Mary Corzine, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says she remains a devout Catholic despite being abused by a priest as a young girl. But she called the new report "more of the same."
"There are no protections for children and it's very, very disappointing," Corzine said.
Critics also noted that the report was commissioned by the bishops' conference, using data collected by the church.
"When you have the bishops doing the self-reporting, I mean, it's sort of like the fox is watching the henhouse," said Robert Stewart of the group Voice of the Faithful.
But Terry said the academic integrity of the report had not been compromised by its backers and primary source of funding.
"All of the work that we did was ours, all of the writing was ours, all of the conclusions were ours and none of the bishops had any influence on the findings of the study," Terry said.