In 2004, a 23-year-old seminarian wrote to vice chancellor Monsignor David LiPuma asking for help concerning sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a diocesan priest–help he never received. So, I have written a letter. It’s a letter not just to the monsignor’s superiors, but ultimately to him personally…for the salvation of his soul.
The video news report referenced in the first sentence of my letter to the Papal Nuncio (pope’s ambassador to the United States) is at this link. Please be aware that the content of this video is extremely graphic and disturbing, but it is not what I’m addressing. Please scroll to the very last sentence in this video report to hear what prompted me to write the letter which you can read below. If you can’t access this video report, here’s the abbreviated version of that sentence:
“Local chatter says Monsignor LiPuma…the only cleric at Father Moreno’s scene of death, who to this day won’t answer questions about what he was doing there, is getting a promotion—next in line to be made auxiliary bishop in Buffalo.”
We hope this is only “local chatter.” But no matter what happens with his career, for the salvation of his soul, I, along with many clergy sexual abuse survivors, pray that Monsignor LiPuma will at the very least own up to the harm he inflicted upon the seminarian and others while operating as an officer of the diocese and repent.
True love, true mercy involves that invitation to repent. It also involves the prayed-for action of repentance. Mercy is for everyone, especially those who harm us. And when one of us in the Body of Christ is harmed, we all are harmed. I’m writing to the Nuncio, but ultimately it’s addressed to the monsignor.
Please, for the love of God, Monsignor LiPuma, prayerfully consider this invitation to repent which is the point of this letter respectfully offered below.
Please know that you have already been forgiven by some of those to whom you have inflicted harm in your capacity as a diocesan officer…many times over. These survivors have done their part to care for their souls. The invitation is for you to join them in forgiving yourself and owning up to what you have done. Many, many, many are eager to walk that journey with you leading to true contrition, true peace.
Documents attached to the letter:
Report of Brothers of Mercy to Bishop Richard Malone regarding alleged sexual grooming of two employees by the credibly-accused sexual predator priest that Msgr. LiPuma assisted in assigning to their adult care facility.
The page in the New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit which specifically references Monsignor LiPuma’s complicity in covering up clergy sexual abuse of a seminarian:
Bishop Malone’s testimony to the Vatican documenting a priest’s sexual abuse allegations, including that priest’s alleged molestation of the seminarian (detailed in the State Attorney General’s lawsuit).
As a side note: I’m having some trouble reaching the Papal Nuncio with this letter. Now that it is online, I’m hoping that someone in Washington, DC or Rome (or wherever the Papal Nuncio is) brings it to his attention as he vacations this summer. This letter to the pope’s ambassador to the United States, mailed via U.S. Postal Service “Certified Mail” on May 29, 2021, has yet to be acknowledged with a return receipt. Tracking indicates it’s still sitting somewhere in D.C. This letter was copied to Bishop Michael Fisher of the Diocese of Buffalo, so he has it. I had hoped administrative procedures would be a bit more just to laity at the Nuncio’s headquarters where this was mailed.