“… if you try to groom a child for sex, Malone will stick up for you, but if you try to stop that behavior, he’ll fire you and call you a traitor.”
That pretty much sums up what happened to a Diocese of Buffalo priest who acted on his moral conscience. Wait. It’s actually worse than that. Exactly one year ago today, his priestly faculties were suspended.
Let’s re-visit this whistleblowing priest’s story, shall we? From the Patheos blog, Mudblood Catholic, author Gabriel Blanchard offers a whirlwind synopsis of this grotesque abuse of power. I offer an excerpt of Blanchard’s brutally succinct re-cap which puts in context the inhumane retaliation still in force today:
[…] Bishop Malone also disgraced himself by vindictively suspending Fr. Ryzsard Biernat in 2019. One Fr. Art Smith sexually assaulted Biernat while the latter was a seminarian. This was the latest in a series of abuses on Fr. Smith’s part, including grooming a child and inappropriately touching four men. Bishop Malone was aware of all this, but (in a 2015 letter to the Vatican) specifically asked that Smith remain in active ministry.
In an outrageous display of selfishness, Malone stated that Biernat “breach[ed] confidentiality” and caused “further scandal” by giving such incriminating information against him to the media. The hypocrite fired Fr. Biernat, forbade him to live in the bishop’s residence, and revoked his faculties to preach and celebrate the sacraments. So if you try to groom a child for sex, Malone will stick up for you, but if you try to stop that behavior, he’ll fire you and call you a traitor.
As it happens, Malone had already submitted his resignation. He was 73 at the time, and thus had two years left before he had to retire, but he could not weather the storm he had provoked. Pope Francis accepted it only one day after Malone took revenge on Fr. Biernat. That act of spite was one of the last things he did as the Bishop of Buffalo.[…]
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger (Diocese of Albany) is Buffalo’s apostolic administrator until Bishop Michael Fisher takes over in a few weeks.
Respectfully, Bishops, cut the crap. Re-instate Fr. Ryszard to full and active ministry.
Photo: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'” (Matt 9:13) Bishop Richard Malone and Fr. Ryszard Biernat con-celebrate Mass in Croom, Ireland as part of a 2017 diocesan pilgrimage. Note the irony in the engraving on the altar, a memorial to the donor “in thanksgiving for many mercies.”