Two years after whistleblower Rev. Ryszard Biernat’s removal from active ministry, survivors of clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo sent a stern message to every single bishop, priest, deacon, and most lay advisors and nuns in the diocese: Diocesan “renewal” is a farce if officials who covered up clergy sexual abuse reports are not held accountable while they hold Father Biernat accountable for exposing such “foul deeds.”
The Buffalo Survivors Group‘s two-page letter, mass-mailed last week, used Bishop Michael Fisher’s own words to demonstrate what the group’s leaders say they view as hypocrisy–touting “diocesan renewal” while at the same time silencing/shaming/banning from ministry the priest and fellow clergy sexual abuse survivor who blew the whistle on specific diocesan officials.
To date, NO diocesan official has been held accountable for professional malfeasance in covering up/ignoring/botching reports of clergy sexual abuse. Some are cited in the 2020 New York State Attorney General’s lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo’s bishops.
The letter, signed by BSG founding members on behalf of the group, is a stinging rebuke of Bishop Fisher’s Viewpoints piece published in the Buffalo News, “Diocese Turning the Corner on its Road to Renewal” [Sep 27, 2021] which the group cited. A version of the BSG letter was reprinted in the Buffalo News op-ed section on December 2.
Buffalo Survivors Group letter is below: