"Are lay people still so blindly accepting of anything told them by a bishop, even when it is manifestly extremely suspicious if not patently false?" Answer: Yes. An example revealed in a recent article will blow your mind. [Click title link above to read all about it]
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: “Renewal” is a farce if diocesan officials who covered up clergy sexual abuse reports are not held accountable while they hold Father Biernat accountable for exposing such “foul deeds.”
Notice people missing from the pews? In many cases, you’re witnessing evidence of the silent collateral damage of the clergy sex abuse crisis, and it points to the absurdity of the Church Synod going on now. That’s the pope’s assembly of officials and other constituents to figure out how to make a better Church WITHOUT considering their own officials’ part in the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The Diocese of Buffalo holds NO official accountable for fostering abuse by protecting abusers. Be like this woman and call for their accountability anyway.
Elite Olympic gymnasts made it clear: It isn't enough to put away the doctor who molested them. Those who enabled the molester by ignoring/mishandling abuse reports need to be held accountable as well. Senators and the FBI director agreed. If only Bishop Michael Fisher could grasp this concept as well.
Jennifer Kane is the featured guest in this podcast. In the midst of this catastrophic situation of the Diocese of Buffalo–brought on by our bishops who botched clergy sexual abuse reports–you’d think the very laity specifically chosen by our bishops to advise them would be open to humbly reassess their ministry, challenge their previous assumptions about these men, knock off their obsequious deference to those guys and hold them accountable. Such laity are not above scrutiny, especially when our safety is at stake and lives and souls have been destroyed. Time to have that adult conversation. That's what this national podcast attempts.
“...who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the Lord...You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.” This First Reading from today’s Liturgy, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, (Jer. 23) reminds us that God will take care of business. In this we can be sure.… Continue reading Woe to the shepherds
Water down for public consumption a very serious, objectively heinous incident with diocesan priests, and you'll get rewarded by your bishop. Provide a contextual redefinition of gratuitous obscene banter with subordinates and voila! You get to be in charge of renewing a diocese mired in clergy sexual abuse. You can't make this up. But you can listen to this priest talk with the bishop about diocesan "renewal" on May 8 live online.
St. Bonaventure University's president, Dr. Dennis DePerro, was an exceptional, heroic Catholic lay leader. So why was he ignored by the very lay organization designed to help heal and restore trust in the wake of the diocesan sexual abuse scandal? On the day of Dr. DePerro's untimely death, WKBW reporter Charlie Specht revealed a disturbing backstory which gives us a clue as to why he was deliberately shunned by entrenched Buffalo-area lay leaders (most of them hand-chosen by our bishops).
Speaking truth to power “will likely come at a cost to me personally,” Deacon Paul Snyder wrote to his bishop in 2018. “However, my first loyalty is to my Catholic faith and my Community,” [not the bishop]. These frank words are an important reminder today that merely changing out a single leadership position won’t eradicate the corrupt culture that allowed the clergy sexual abuse crisis to flourish in the Diocese of Buffalo. We need leaders willing to make decisions “at great cost to them personally,” putting their Catholic faith and their Community ahead of their career.
(AUDIO read by author) This final post details concrete reform recommendations for laity to regain relevancy in their advisory roles in this diocese. Long-time Buffalo-area advisors working for their FIFTH or SIXTH bishop are not appropriate for this task, as demonstrated throughout this series. Included is a practical action guide for laity to get involved in the battle for the soul of our diocese.