Photo: Video screenshot of retired Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz still serving in active ministry in November, 2020 at a Confirmation in the Diocese of Buffalo—despite allegations by clergy sexual abuse survivors of his abuse of power in handling their reports.
On the one hand, Buffalo’s Bishop Michael Fisher acts on the recent Child Victims Act lawsuit that alleges Bishop Edward Grosz sexually abused a minor. [He allowed the retired auxiliary bishop to excuse himself from active ministry]. Yet on the other hand, he continues to do nothing about the credible allegation that this same auxiliary bishop threatened a seminarian to keep him from reporting sex abuse suffered at the hands of a priest. The Buffalo Diocese STILL hasn’t opened an investigation into that allegation made by the victim in 2019 (which I have corroborated for the diocese).
Abuse is abuse, right? Let’s revisit whistleblower Siobhan O’Connor’s detailed concerns with Bishop Grosz to find out why one case gets attention and another equally deserving case does not. Here’s an excerpt from the former bishop administrative assistant’s blog post:
In recent days [September 2019], Father Ryszard has shared the unbelievable story of how Bishop Grosz harassed, threatened, bullied and silenced him regarding Father Ryszard’s abuse by Father Art Smith. Bishop Grosz’s actions seem criminal and are certainly morally reprehensible. What he did to Father Ryszard is unthinkably cruel and calculating.
It is important to remember that Father Art Smith is one of Bishop Grosz’ classmates. It has been well known for years – especially among the priests – that Bishop Grosz covers for and protects his classmates and other select priests. These select priests are usually Polish Americans since Grosz is Polish American well. Yet Bishop Grosz does not protect an actually Polish seminarian who has been abused!!
Of the 15 members of Bishop Grosz’s 1971 seminary class, [photo highlighted below] 5 of them have been publicly accused of sexual abuse and misconduct. Leising and Riter were reinstated, Maryanski was kept safe for decades, Nogaro was recently named in a CVA suit and thus suspended, and Father Art Smith was given a $1,300 a month condo for years (on the diocese’s dime) along with a host of other very special treatments.
Thus Siobhan O’Connor offers a clue as to why one abuse allegation is excused while another gets response:
Clericalism- a form of elitism. A sense of belonging to a separate class of persons marked by privilege, deference and power.
Please read her entire September, 2019 article here.
Bishop Fisher and his predecessors clearly protect their brethren in arenas where the arm of civil justice has not reached—just as Bishop Grosz practiced. Only when forced by civil litigation do they release their protective grip on brethren culprits.Fast forward to November, 2020, a couple weeks after that Confirmation photographed above…the New York State Attorney General acted where bishops refused and included Bishop Grosz in a lawsuit for failing to protect victims and mishandling clergy sexual abuse allegations. Still Bishop Grosz enjoyed some “limited ministry” in the diocese, according to Bishop Fisher—until the CVA lawsuit kicked in a couple weeks ago.
Bishop Grosz denies all allegations brought against him—even to Fr. Ryszard Biernat’s face in front of Bishop Malone.1