Recently, the Diocese of Buffalo released an embarrassing manifestation that it is still in the business of concealing its dirty laundry concerning how its officials handled clergy sexual abuse reports. Let’s be clear. When a diocese covers up the actions of its officials accused of covering up clergy sexual abuse reports, it ipso facto continues their coverup of the abuse. Sheltering diocesan officials from any form of scrutiny about their professional conduct while working on behalf of the People of God is all a part of diocesan culture. Such sheltering is also how dioceses groom and protect their future leaders in the system. Bishop Fisher is set to choose 36 pastors to shepherd the remaining parishes left after diocesan officials destroyed what we laity have built up the past 175 years. You can bet your sweet oak church pew that two internally “investigated” and sheltered monsignors will be eligible to be on that list of pastors. [Click title above to access full article including a link to text of my reports]
As a corroborating witness to Bishop Edward Grosz's deliberate coverup of an allegation of clergy sexual abuse, I recently filed a report to the Vatican using an official online reporting system in place. Allegations of his abuse of authority, punctuated by blackmailing the victim, grabbed national and international media attention. While our Buffalo bishop appears numb to this case, a particular arm of the Vatican is mandated by the pope to investigate such “Vos estis” reports. I'll walk you through the reporting process. [Click title to read more]
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.”
The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks recently fired top-tier officials for ignoring a rookie hockey player’s report of sexual assault by a coach years ago. This man’s heartbreaking story is no different from Rev. Ryszard Biernat’s in the Diocese of Buffalo, where STILL no official has been held accountable for ignoring his 2004 report of sexual assault by a priest. Bishop Michael Fisher maintains this particular expression of clericalism by refusing to hold his officials accountable for botching clergy sexual abuse reports.
“Our founder, Jesus Christ, taught us ‘the Truth will set you free.’ Why are we hiding? Why are we lying about the truth?” He projected the harrowing reaction that overcame him when he finally realized, “It’s simply to protect predators like McCarrick, monsters like other predators around. We hide them and shelter them, and that’s the reason for the lie. And it’s so contrary to what we are about in the Church," he said. "If the bishops, the shepherds, are going to such an extent to lie about such horrible things, how do you expect them to care for the faithful, for their souls to be nourished, for salvation, if they lie about and hide and protect child rapists? We need to sometimes wake up and realize, they’re not just lying about McCarrick; they have been lying the last 30 to 40 years about what’s been going on.” (Click title to read more...)
A parish council stepped up to the plate to do the right thing. A small but significant step by laity to share in the co-responsibility of directing the Diocese of Buffalo toward Truth & healing for survivors. We were groomed to accept DOB narratives for too long. Time to take back our Church. Check out this WKBW-TV report from Charlie Specht. (Click title to read more...)
Bishop Michael Fisher's claim, “I want to be about accountability and transparency,” rings hollow. Without professional accountability for the officials we trusted to protect us, any hope of “renewal” for our diocese mired in this endless clergy sexual abuse crisis is impossible. And this crisis is here to stay as long as the bishop continues to appoint in leadership positions officials who have compromised their integrity by participating in orchestrated coverups of up clergy sexual abuse allegations. Such recent appointments of diocesan leaders only reveal a perverse continuation of the corrupt culture that promotes/protects the very officials who were complicit in enabling the crisis. (Click title to read more...)
A note to Bishop Scharfenberger: Rev. Ryszard Biernat should be restored to full and active ministry as the gospel would compel in this situation. Had you taken the time to speak with the dedicated laity protesting outside your office on Mondays when you were in Buffalo, you would have been presented with a different point… Continue reading Unjust penalty for Whistleblower–Does Bishop Scharfenberger even know the details of this heartbreaking case?