Bishop Accountability, Disturbing actions of the Bishop of Buffalo, Evidence, Rev. Ryszard Biernat, whistleblowers

Sworn testimonies reveal cruel vein of inhumanity in Buffalo bishops

“Whose mouths were filled with lies, whose hands were raised in perjury” —Psalm 144:8

Among all the clergy sexual abuse cases examined in the New York State Attorney General’s investigation of the Diocese of Buffalo, the Smith/Biernat case took the bulk of the state’s interrogation time with Bishops Malone and Grosz. The diocese paid dearly to keep us from reading these transcripts. Whistleblowers Father Ryszard Biernat and Siobhan O’Connor weigh in.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo reportedly spent at least $35,000 to keep legal documents from the public eye, and for good reason. Sworn testimony before assistant New York State Attorneys General as well as internal corporate documents reveal a level of sinister behavior by two Buffalo bishops that goes beyond their clear and convincing patterns of gross mismanagement in the way they handled clergy sexual abuse reports.

If the true character of a man is revealed in what he does when no one is looking, as the old adage goes, this latest cache of information detailing Bishop Richard Malone and Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz’s conduct and decisions certainly reveals characters grossly out of step with the gospel of Jesus Christ they preached. Thanks to WKBW-tv and The Buffalo News who invested in efforts to pry these documents from the diocese’s protection, we have a unique opportunity to listen to the bishops answer for their decisions when they knew the public wasn’t looking.

Their sworn testimonies–hours of interrogation with state attorneys in late 2019–provide the most vivid portraits yet of two bishops who arguably sacrificed their moral integrity while on the job–something the state attorney general demonstrated within 25 heartbreaking cases detailed in her subsequent 2020 lawsuit against them which they later settled. What we witness in these new documents1 isn’t just two Roman Catholic bishops engaged in serial negligence in reassigning credibly-accused sexual predator priests, or concealing these clerics from proper investigations, or failing to properly supervise predators left to reside in our neighborhoods, or haphazardly handling reports in violation of the diocese’s own policies/procedures and New York law or… even wasting charitable funds. We’re looking at two men who could do all that with the breathless ease of ordering a scotch on the rocks at the Chophouse.

Nowhere is this particular sociopathic trait more evident than in the way the two bishops handled reports coming in from the field involving Reverend Art Smith.

Bishops unmoved by evidence of a priest’s immorality and how it affects his victims

Smith was a charming, piano-playing priest whom bishops Malone and Grosz spent a tremendous amount of energy protecting from civil prosecution and Vatican penalties—for years, if we read the documents correctly. The reckless and unscrupulous ways they protected this priest likely led the state’s attorney to spend an inordinate amount of time plumbing the depths of their apparent corruption in dealing with him specifically. That’s where the true story behind the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo gets nasty.

The heartbreaking allegation of clergy sexual abuse Father Ryszard Biernat said he suffered at the hands of Smith when he was a seminarian in 2003 drew more attention than any other specific case the state attorneys covered with the bishops. In September 2019, as a priest and vice-chancellor of the diocese, Biernat gave local news media evidence of Malone’s continued failure to remove priests from ministry who were credibly accused of sexual abuse. He followed up that allegation with revelations that the diocese ignored his own sexual abuse that was met by retaliatory threats from Grosz in 2004 to keep him from reporting the incident. The WKBW televised report below is the very news report referenced in the state’s interrogation of the two bishops. It is important to watch this 5-minute video in order to follow how the bishops answered for themselves in their sworn testimonies.

September 5, 2019 Father Ryszard Biernat–then private secretary to Bishop Malone and vice chancellor of the Diocese of Buffalo–publicly reveals details about a sexual molestation he suffered at the hands of a diocesan priest when he was a seminarian in 2003 and the subsequent re-victimization he experienced from Buffalo bishops Grosz and Malone following his report.

After reporting the incident to diocesan authorities in 2004, Biernat said he was further victimized by Grosz who threatened retaliation by saying Biernat would not be ordained a priest if he reported this incident to anyone. To be clear, Seminarian Biernat, a 24-year-old Polish national with limited English skills and no understanding of our country’s laws, was supposed to participate in the concealment of the allegation to protect his alleged sexual molester.

The blockbuster interview in the WKBW report you just watched occurred a few weeks before the state attorney general sat down with Bishops Malone and Grosz to question them under oath about their handling of more than two dozen clergy sexual abuse reports specifically tied to one or both of them. Malone resigned from office (penalty-free) two weeks before his state interrogation. A day before his resignation, he removed Biernat from ministry for whistleblowing to local media. This penalty is upheld by his successor, Bishop Michael Fisher.

Sexual Battery

The two allegations, the sexual abuse from Smith (which Smith denies) and the threat from Bishop Grosz (which Grosz denies), took up much of the bishops’ testimony surrounding their handling of Smith. Both bishops went out of their way to downplay the sexual assault the diocese today states it has substantiated. Over and over Grosz repeated his mantra that the seminarian only reported an “attempted” assault by Smith; that Smith only “attempted” to enter the seminarian’s bed. This is in stark contrast to Biernat’s graphic account of the abuse he gave to news media outlets the week he blew the whistle on the diocese in September 2019.

Bishop Malone’s testimony reveals him verbally squirming around what he actually knew about Biernat’s sexual assault allegation. The state attorney reminded Bishop Malone that in 2015 he reported to the Vatican a succinct account of Smith’s assault upon the seminarian: “Father Art came to his room, came into his bed, and began to touch his genitalia. The complaint was received at the diocesan level and addressed with Father Smith.” Under oath Bishop Malone admitted to hearing these details from the victim himself.

Forget the immorality of the activity Malone described. Both bishops completely ignored that point in their testimonies on this specific “external” clerical sin which Canon Law (Church law) requires bishops to investigate.2 In terms of civil law…

Just how serious is it when a priest gropes a seminarian’s genitals?

Ironically, one day before Bishop Malone sat down to testify, a California court answered that question. There a priest was sentenced to jail for committing virtually the same crime that Biernat relayed to the public and that Malone relayed to the Vatican. In the California case, the priest and the seminarian had been drinking alcohol in a bar. The priest followed the seminarian into the bathroom where he grabbed the seminarian’s genitals. The court classified the crime as SEXUAL BATTERY. The judge not only ordered jail time, but three years probation and made the priest register as a sex offender. In Buffalo, Smith received a little counseling, retained his unrestricted pastorship among an unsuspecting flock, and then transferred to another pastorship in Hamburg that also included a school. At some point in that timeline, the vocations arm of the diocese bestowed Smith with the honor of “Priest of the Month.”

While the Vatican did not question what Malone meant by his statement that the diocese “addressed” the sexual assault he described, the State of New York did specifically ask if the claim was investigated. Malone said that he was told it was, but he did not bother to check and did not order an investigation. Here’s a portion of Malone’s December 18, 2019 testimony with his answers marked with the letter A. Biernat’s name is redacted in these documents:

The state’s lawsuit revealed that the seminarian’s sexual assault allegation has never been brought before the diocesan review board and never reported to the diocesan attorney. Since Biernat’s public revelation of this allegation, the diocese still has not investigated it (or the allegation of Grosz’s threat) in line with its own norms and procedures, according to the state lawsuit. We also know this because Biernat has never been called before a review board for questioning, and no competent investigation can take place without his testimony.

Threatening a seminarian

In sworn testimony to an assistant state attorney general a few weeks following the television news report and other media interviews with Biernat that week [see: here, here, here, for example], Grosz denied that he made threats against the seminarian to prevent him from reporting his abuse allegation to anyone. Grosz had already announced his denial to the news media after the WKBW news report aired.

Malone’s testimony reveals for the first time that he believes Grosz. Talk about putting your cigarette out on a sexual abuse victim’s soul. The state attorney appeared to pick up on this apparent cruelty by pointing out that the alleged victim in the television news report was “weeping” as he made his public accusations. Here’s a portion of Bishop Malone’s testimony:

No. But the inference is clear, and the state attorney will press this point later in his interrogation.

Below are excerpts from Grosz’s testimony in which he admits that not only did he fail to investigate the serious allegations of sexual assault which seminarian Biernat reported (orally and in written form) to him, but he denied that he threatened the seminarian. The the state attorney again pressed on the point about Biernat “crying” in the video as the attorney detailed the specific threats mentioned in the television news report. Grosz’s answers, captured in screenshots below, are marked with the letter A. Biernat’s name is redacted:

Now watch Grosz’s reaction to a weeping man who claims this bishop almost “destroyed his life” following their June 1, 2004 meeting that included the threats:

“Road to Renewal”

Bishop Malone admitted under oath that he knew about Grosz’s alleged retaliatory threats to seminarian Biernat before the television news report in September, 2019. My January, 2019 letter/report which is cited in the television news story, was in the hands of Malone and his diocesan attorney, Terry Connors, by February 3, 2019. It offered corroborating witness testimony to not just the sexual assault but to Grosz’s threats which the seminarian confided to me in 2006. Biernat, a member of the diocesan executive team in 2019, said they all discussed my letter in his presence.3

Despite Bishop Malone admitting under oath that the threats were a serious allegation, he stated once again, but now more more specifically, that he believed Grosz. The state attorney pressed for an account of how this serious allegation was handled because what the bishops felt about the truth of the claim, frankly, was irrelevant. Serious allegations such as this demand an investigation. It is clearly implied in the testimony that because Malone believed Grosz’s denial, an investigation into his alleged threats was never ordered, at least Malone does not “think” it was. The state attorney asked: “Why not?”

Malone’s astonishing answer as CEO of the diocesan corporation and the man who takes full responsibility for handling clergy sexual abuse allegations: “I couldn’t tell you.”

In testimony excerpts below, the state attorney again questioned Malone about Grosz’s threats and what he did to handle that allegation:

Beyond not bothering to investigate the victim’s allegations of clergy sexual abuse and threats by a bishop to keep him from reporting the crime, both bishops appear to have conspired to portray a clergy sexual abuse victim as a liar. This revelation, woven throughout their answers, put a dramatic punctuation mark on this heartbreaking case STILL left un-investigated in a diocese that claims it is on the “Road to Renewal.”

Biernat said the testimony of these two bishops does not surprise him as he knows them both well. He has already stated that he forgives all involved. He has been consistent in expressing that his greatest concern is for the children who were victims and for “real change” in this unjust system.

Two sets of books

It also appears through the testimony transcripts and the evidentiary documents that Malone kept two sets of books, so to speak: one set of statements for the public consumption about how he and other officials handled clergy sexual abuse reports, and one set for how they really operated. This was the stated rationale that fueled both diocesan whistleblowers to come forward with information to the public. Recall in August, 2018, Malone’s administrative assistant, Siobhan O’Connor smuggled diocesan documents to WKBW-tv revealing the public/private discrepancy in how clergy sexual abuse reports were documented and handled. Following those revelations, Malone publicly made this solemn claim with the bravado of a snake oil salesman: “All of God’s children deserve the same protection from sexual harassment or contact, including adults.” A video excerpt below with this statement in context is gleaned from the full WKBW-tv news report:

August, 27 2018 , after leaked documents revealed that Bishop Malone was protecting two priests (including Father Art Smith) accused of sexually abusing adults, the bishop held a press conference declaring “All of God’s children deserve protection from sexual harassment or contact, including adults.” WKBW-tv news report. Reporter: Charlie Specht

This statement not withstanding, Bishop Malone’s activity behind closed doors revealed a different standard of practice. He had authority to open an investigation into Biernat’s allegation of sexual assault by Smith and chose not to, his testimony reveals. He had authority to open an investigation into Grosz following the revelation of the allegations of threats he made to a seminarian Malone knew was a victim of sexual assault. He chose not to, his testimony reveals.

I sat with Biernat as Malone made that publicly televised claim about “all God’s children” which the bishop followed up with his insistence that he was not going to bow to public pressure to resign. It was a devastating blow to the priest who had no choice but to whistleblow about this bishop’s moral duplicity a year later. I’ve made this statement before, but it bears repeating:

Note to the Diocese of Buffalo:
if you don’t like whistleblowers within your ranks, stop making them.

In October, 2018 Siobhan O’connor explained on CBS’s 60 Minutes why she blew the whistle on Bishop Malone

Even though Grosz was the point man for handling sexual abuse cases for Malone and the previous bishop Edward Kmiec, his public statements concerning the crisis were curiously sparse. It was only when media flushed him out to answer for his alleged threats to the seminarian did he speak. Now testifying under oath, he never wavered from his denial. But when it came to his actual work handling initial clergy sexual abuse reports according to Church protocol4 he took a more evasive and misleading path in answering questions.

Here he is in videotaped testimony [below] gleaned from The Buffalo News which I captured and edited. The complete excerpt which the News obtained is at that link. The state attorney asked him who was responsible for conducting initial inquiries under Church protocols. Grosz said that before 2010 “I might have done some, but prior to that it was done by the chancellor, Monsignor Robert Cunningham.” This is clearly deliberately misleading because, as Grosz is well aware (and later testified), Cunningham left the diocese in 2004 when he was installed as bishop of Ogdensburg in May. Grosz then took over Cunningham’s role as diocesan administrator. In this interview, Grosz doubled down under oath by stating that Cunningham conducted “most” of the initial “Charter” inquiries–first-look into clergy sexual abuse reports–between 2002 and 2010. This appears to be objectively false.

Video excerpt of Bishop Grosz during his testimony before an assistant attorney general for New York State on October 25, 2019. Source: The Buffalo News

Last year, I pressed the diocese for accountability of diocesan officials who failed in their duty to handle the seminarian’s 2004 report properly. I filed my report through the diocese’s third-party online reporting system. An anonymous person at the diocese answered much as Bishop Grosz answered in his testimony: “The 2004 incident involving Fr. Ryszard was not handled as quickly or effectively as one might wish, and there seems to have been some confusion regarding who should take responsibility and how the situation should be resolved.

Canon Law makes it clear that the diocesan administrator “possesses the power of a diocesan bishop.”5. He is in charge. He is the one to take responsibility when anyone reports a clergy sexual abuse allegation, as the seminarian said he did for a second time once Bishop Grosz was elected diocesan administrator on May 25. Now we can actually read the documents that date official meetings Grosz called to address seminarian Biernat’s allegation, beginning May 28, 2004.

Because Bishop Grosz could operate with so much unchecked authority, particularly while he was diocesan administrator, he could operate with impunity. As both bishops’ testimony revealed, nobody really checked up on Grosz’s activities or scrutinized his practices or lack of professional training. Grosz, as administrator of the diocese for a full six months until Bishop Kmiec was appointed, had two things at his disposal: authority and plenty of time to order his own investigation into the seminarian’s serious allegation. His testimony corresponds to the fact that he did nothing other than send Smith for counseling and offer counseling to the seminarian which he accepted. If all Smith did was “attempt” to enter the seminarian’s bed, as Grosz repeats numerous times throughout his testimony, then why did these men require counseling? The state attorney wanted an answer to that obvious question as well.

“This is beyond what I thought Grosz was capable of,” said whistleblower Siobhan O’Connor upon reading Grosz’s testimony. “Mind-spinning lies. Lies upon lies. God have mercy.”

Grosz’s own handwritten memos prove that he knew what he was dealing with. He even wrote, “Allegation: attempted sexual abuse.” Below is a picture of one of those documents the diocese fought so hard to keep from our view:

Early in his testimony, Grosz had established that he always turned over to diocesan attorneys his initial inquiries into sexual abuse claims. He never did that with the seminarian’s case.

Clerical Coverup: No one is held accountable

Monsignor Richard Siepka

We notice at the top of this memo the participants in this meeting with Grosz: diocesan vice chancellor, Monsignor David LiPuma, and the seminary rector, Monsignor Richard Siepka. In sworn testimony, Grosz said both men reviewed Biernat’s report in some manner with Cunningham before he left. Grosz also testified that Siepka never approached the new Bishop Kmiec about the seminarian’s case. This is consistent with Biernat’s memory when I talked to him following publication of these testimonies. He said Siepka kept promising him he would talk to the new bishop about the sexual assault allegation but never did. Biernat sent (certified mail) his written report to the diocese detailing his allegation, so he knew there was a written record of it somewhere in the chancery building. He was certain there was no other official report detailing his allegation.

Biernat said he waited “months and months in silence.”

Having done everything he could to report his allegation, and with no support from diocesan officials who could have brought this case up to the new bishop, Biernat saw that his last resort was to talk to Kmiec himself. That’s a difficult appointment for a seminarian to get. Only when an esteemed senior member of the seminary faculty made an extraordinary threat of an old-fashioned sit-in protest at the chancery building did Biernat finally get his meeting with the new bishop. 

Biernat said Kmiec told him that Grosz “denied” that Art Smith (Grosz’s seminary classmate) committed sexual assault. While expressing sympathy for Biernat’s plight, the bishop said it was a matter of the seminarian’s word against Grosz’s, according to Biernat. Kmiec essentially patted him on the head and told him not to worry about his prospects for ordination, Biernat said. Grosz testified that after that meeting, Kmiec gave his auxiliary bishop the impression that everything was taken care of regarding the Smith case. As the months rolled on, all the officials in the know just drifted on in silence as if nothing occurred.

Fr. James Croglio today serves as a consultor on the bishop’s senior advisory committee, the College of Consultors

In fact, so many officials knew about the seminarian’s sexual abuse allegation that Father James Croglio, director of diocesan counseling, expressed concern about “confidentiality.” In his June 3, 2004 memo to Grosz, he listed the following priests in the know : “Cunningham, Rev. Leon J. Biernat [the seminarian’s cousin], Rev. Joseph F. Burke [‘the seminarian’s counsellor], Rev Gregory M. Faulhaber [at the time seminary formation director/instructor of moral theology], Rev. David G. LiPuma [Kmiec’s secretary/vice chancellor], Rev. Richard W. Siepka. Obviously, others also know.”

Croglio wrote that Grosz’s goal was to find “closure” for Smith/Biernat. None of the grown men involved with the case appeared interested in encouraging the seminarian to report his allegation of sexual assault to civil authorities. This report would have fallen within the state’s statute of limitations.

To achieve “closure,” Croglio said he didn’t like Grosz’s idea of putting Biernat and Smith in the same room with their counsellors because such a situation “has the potential to further humiliate Father S[mith]. I realize that Father S[mith] did some things that were very wrong; and these behaviors should not be minimized,” he stated, adding he didn’t want to jeopardize his therapeutic relationship with Smith. Croglio did not appear to have the impression that whatever Smith did to Biernat was “attempted.” The state attorney noted that as well. 

Throughout these documents, two things are clear:

  • Not one priest or bishop expressed concern for the alleged victim.
  • All the priests with a hand in this case did their part to play along with Grosz’s direction which did not include even a semblance of an investigation into the allegation against a brother priest.

Grooming tomorrow’s diocesan leaders

Participating as accomplices in concealing a report of clergy sexual abuse is just one way lower-level diocesan officials are groomed in diocesan leadership, according to Buffalo diocesan whistleblowers and clergy sexual abuse experts in a recent documentary film, Manufacturing the Clerical Predator, generated out of the Harvard Divinity School. That handwritten report of Grosz’s meeting with Siepka and LiPuma gives us a peek into a very small window revealing how at least two monsignors were groomed under this corrupt system for future leadership in the diocese. Who can argue that they are poster boys for carefully-groomed leadership we laity are supposed to reverence and follow today?

Bishop Michael Fisher, himself groomed in diocesan leadership in Washington, D.C. by the notorious pedophile and serial seminarian-predator Cardinal Ted McCarrick and McCarrick’s hand-picked successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has chosen to put these two well-groomed Buffalo monsignors in leadership positions in the diocese today. LiPuma leads the diocese’s Prysbyteral Council, serves on the prestigious College of Consultors (top advisory body to the bishop) and is pastor/rector of Our Lady of Victory Basilica/Shrine. Siepka oversees several parishes under the “Road to Renewal” plan.

We also note that Croglio is a senior advisor to the bishop on his College of Consultors and still directs the diocesan counseling center. Faulhaber, Biernat’s formation director at the seminary is a pastor, serves on the Priests’ Personnel Board, and is Vicar Forane (bishop’s representative in a vicariate). These assignments are part of Fisher’s “Road to Renewal” plan. Father Biernat is still without priestly faculties because he blew the whistle on such corruption.

Monsignor David LiPuma

Any reasonable person could glean from the bishops’ testimony that Kmiec also appeared to groom his right-hand man, LiPuma, in the corrupt ways of diocesan leadership. LiPuma placed his initials with Kmiec’s on a draft of an announcement deceiving parishioners at a Hamburg parish about the reason their pastor, Smith, was leaving. The diocese called it “medical leave” when in reality the diocesan review board found that Smith attempted to groom a Catholic school boy among other concerns that led Kmiec to order him into a psychological treatment center for clergy.

“Should they [parishioners] have been told about that?” the state attorney asked.

Grosz’s answer: “I don’t know.”

Malone also engaged in this style of grooming future diocesan leaders. LiPuma, as Malone’s secretary/vice chancellor, aided Smith’s transfer to two Malone-ordered assignments that led to more allegations of Smith’s unwanted inappropriate touching of young adult males. Well aware of allegations of Smith’s propensities to cross sexual boundaries with adults, LiPuma had a hand in Smith’s assignment to Fillmore Suburban Hospital to serve as part-time chaplain. There a 30-year-old male patient in the emergency room reported alcohol on Smith’s breath and inappropriate touching–caressing the patient’s arm. The very next day Bishop Grosz received a similar report about Smith from another healthcare facility where, again, LiPuma assisted Smith’s assignment to minister as chaplain. There two male employees allege Smith touched and spoke to them in an unwanted, inappropriate manner. Bishop Malone denied under oath that he thought that particular assignment was a “mistake”– more leadership qualities that executives like LiPuma learned?

What Malone said he did think was a “mistake” was signing letters of good standing for Smith to work as a chaplain on cruise ships. This followed allegations of grooming the 8th-grader at the Hamburg parish, the inappropriate touching allegations at two healthcare facilities, and the seminarian’s allegations which Malone admitted under oath he knew about.

Here is Malone’s sworn testimony about the cruise ship letters of recommendation that whistleblower, Siobhan O’Connor leaked to WKBW-tv in August, 2018. They are also part of the cache of state evidentiary documents recently released to the public.:

This cruise ship permission slip, deceitful and and dangerous to the public as it was, also acted as a cruel tool of diocesan grooming of a future leader. In the screenshot below, please look at the name of the diocesan executive who Malone, in a grotesque act of abuse of authority, had notarize these letters attesting to Smith’s good standing as a priest: Rev. Ryszard Biernat, the victim of Smith’s sexual assault. And Bishop Malone not only made Biernat sign this foul document once, but twice in 2015 and 2016. It is visual evidence of a bishop’s masochistic treatment of a clergy sexual abuse survivor and a subordinate.

Screenshot from: WKBW-tv I-Team investigative report May 24, 2023 reveals Bishop Malone had the victim of a credibly-accused sexual predator notarize two letters of “good standing” attesting to the predator-priest’s character.

The state attorney did not point out the cruel irony of these signatures on these documents. But then again, it is not his job to chronicle evidence of a bishop’s immorality and sadistic behavior towards a subordinate under his authority– just gross mismanagement of a non-profit entity operating in the State of New York. When WKBW investigative reporter, Charlie Specht, asked Biernat how he felt about being forced to notarize such a letter, he shouted out, “Horrible!” We can never know what Malone was trying to teach his subordinate, but these heartless letters were not just a “mistake” or “the dumbest thing I have ever done,” as Malone so ruefully put it. They were demonic. The fact that Malone never uttered remorse for forcing Biernat to sign those documents–terrifying.

Notarizing those letters was only one order that Biernat said he felt guilty about. In an interview on WGRZ-tv the week he blew the whistle on Bishop Malone, Biernat said he felt “absolutely guilty”… “about remaining silent” while Malone ignored reports of clergy sexual abuse. Biernat, who succeeded LiPuma as vice chancellor, said that is where he believed he personally broke Canon Law because he allowed his bishop to knowingly keep sexual predator priests in ministry. In fairness to his colleagues in the chancery, he said their advice in handling clergy abuse reports was often ignored by Malone, even when their opinions were unanimous. Oftentimes senior staff was lied to or only given half-truths by bishops, he said. Here is a clip of that interview with reporter Steve Brown in 2019:

WGRZ-tv “Father Ryszard Biernat says that Bishop Malone ‘needs to go'” reporter, Steve Brown, September 6, 2019.


Let’s take a look at another document the diocese paid thousands of our donor dollars to keep from our eyes. This is another handwritten memo by Bishop Grosz with notes from that fateful meeting with the seminarian on June 1, 2004. This is the meeting which Biernat said “almost ruined my life” because of the harsh threats he said Grosz made to keep him quiet about the report. We see cryptic references to counsellors and how the seminarian “has not given forgiveness to Art.” (Evidence of spiritually manipulating the sexual abuse victim?) We see a reference to getting a car–transportation to get to counseling sessions, according to Biernat, who said he had no transportation at the time. We see a reference to pornography the seminarian allegedly found on Smith’s computer. No threats from Grosz noted, but Grosz did write: “Ryszard is concerned that he [Smith] not lie.”

Biernat has been concerned with clergy lying ever since the date of this document above. Over and over again within their testimonies and their own documents, the two bishops’ behavior within the framework of gospel values is irreconcilable. The scope of deception isn’t anything they had to work very hard to accomplish. That’s because everybody believes what a bishop tells them. So, these bishops could say anything they wanted about a credibly-accused sexual predator priest–on “medical leave” or “retired” or “in good standing” or “only attempted to get in his bed”– with full knowledge they’d be believed by not just the laity, but anyone else not in on the BIG LIE.

Another form of lying is tricking the public with euphemisms to describe fraudulent, dangerous and even immoral behavior. Malone like to say he made “mistakes.” Bishop Fisher used this euphemism in his formal response to the release of the bishops’ testimonies by acknowledging they made “mistake[s] in judgment.”

A prominent American exorcist warns that such habitual lying is an activity of the demon replicated in humans, “and it is not uncommon for people in power to be habitual liars to keep power and manipulate and maintain control over us. So habituated is their lying that we wonder if they are even capable of telling the truth.” 

In 2021, Biernat, still shut out of priestly ministry, addressed this level of lying in an interview within a Polish documentary series that examined the clergy abuse crisis in Buffalo. Below is an edited clip captured from the documentary in which I read the English translation:

Edited video clip with my English dub of translations provided by producers:  Bielmo, episode title “Abyss of lies.” Marcin Gutowski, senior long-form journalist, Czarno na białym TVN24–Warner Brothers/Discovery.

Even if we take the Buffalo bishops at their word that they think they acted properly, it doesn’t take away from the objective truth of the matter that they made judgments in their professional capacity as Princes of the Church and now own the effects of the grave sins to which they turned a blind eye. These sins include their own masochistic treatment of the victims of the credibly-accused sexual predator priests they tried so hard to protect.

Let’s let Father Biernat have the last word. In that Polish documentary, the producer asked him if he reproached himself for not just going to the police in 2004 and letting go of his dream of becoming a priest. Again, this is an edited clip from the documentary in which I read the English translation:

Edited video clip with my English dub of translations provided by producers:  Bielmo,(2022) episode title “Abyss of lies.” Marcin Gutowski, senior long-form journalist, Czarno na białym TVN24–Warner Brothers/Discovery.

Photo Credit: Banner photo of Bishops Grosz and Malone raising their hands in sworn testimony, screenshot from WKBW-tv I-Team investigative report May 24, 2023

Keep us safe from wolf and hireling, and make us faithful in listening to your voice.
 –Intercessory prayer, Saturday of the fourth week of Easter

1 thought on “Sworn testimonies reveal cruel vein of inhumanity in Buffalo bishops”

  1. Very painful to read. I thought the most telling comment was the one about satanic influence on those in leadership positions. I have met most of them at one time or another and all are very likeable and dedicated in my opinion to their ministries. . I also know the accused priest and cannot figure out why he wasn’t told early on that he wasn’t cut out for he priesthood and should try another line of work. It would have spared a lot of pain and suffering for many. Finally, anyone who has met Siobhan OConnor knows that she is incapable of ever telling a lie.

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