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.
In the midst of this catastrophic situation of the Diocese of Buffalo–brought on by our bishops–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 that 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.
The “Diocese” didn’t betray us. People did. Until we recognize--by name and face--the true agents of betrayal, we won't be able to begin to restore trust in this diocese. Thanks to whistleblowers, we know names, faces and their horrendous professional misconduct that exacerbated the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
(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.
(AUDIO read by author) Sexually abusive clergy and their abuse-facilitators in chancery offices operate off principles. Throughout this series, we saw their chief principle in action: Keeping a lid on the exchange of information and squashing dissent at every opportunity. We laity have principles we work off of too. In this post we look at ten guiding principles foundational to any diocesan reform recommendations.
(AUDIO read by author) We explore indications that the Diocese of Buffalo, over the course of many years, groomed a tight-knit circle of lay advisors in a system that effectively compromised their objectivity. Lose that, and you can easily get duped.