Here we go. Another report about the Diocese of Buffalo that requires a disclaimer for graphic content. But there’s good news attached this time: laity in South Buffalo took on an important initiative, as we hear from WKBW’s Charlie Specht.
A parish council voted unanimously to remove memorials to a priest credibly-accused of sexually molesting children.
“The courage that they [laity] showed, to look to their conscience and their moral fiber and come to a decision that’s right and just…I’m hoping that other parishes in Western New York who have similar memorials will follow suit,” said Kevin Brun, a member of the Buffalo Survivors Network that advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
It’s a small, yet commendable crack in rank-and-file laity finally taking on initiatives to responsibly address the clergy sexual abuse crisis in their parish. But there is so much more work to be done to restore trust and confidence among survivors and laity, as we hear in this report.
Unfortunately, the log-jam to achieving that goal rests with Bishop Michael Fisher who has displayed a terrifying lack of seriousness about responsibly addressing the crisis. Two obvious examples pointed out in this news report: He refuses to release abuse case files to survivors and he refuses to restore to active ministry Fr. Ryszard Biernat, the whistleblower who helped expose the diocese’s mishandling of sexual abuse cases.