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.
Accountability is key to establishing Trust in the Diocese of Buffalo
This pulled quote from today's Buffalo News front-page article accurately quotes me. But...Let me further smash the bubble of deference to a Catholic bishop. Most laity are unified on this point: If diocesan officials cited in the AG report covered up clergy sex abuse, they need to be relieved of duty, NOT promoted. We don't trust them.
“An act of spite” keeps heroic whistleblower priest sidelined—one year later
"... if you try to groom a child for sex, Malone will stick up for you, but if you try to stop that behavior, he’ll fire you and call you a traitor." That pretty much sums up what happened to a Diocese of Buffalo priest who acted on his moral conscience. Wait. It's actually worse than that.… Continue reading “An act of spite” keeps heroic whistleblower priest sidelined—one year later
Buffalo Bishops throw soft bombs at clergy sex abuse survivors and their advocates who call for accountability following AG report
We aren’t talking about being nice to a guy who made mistakes, bishops. We are talking about holding officials accountable for their gross dereliction of duty, concealing child rapists, wasting millions of donor dollars, and putting people at risk.Check out 44:44 on the timeline of this first media conference with “Bishop Mike, " as he… Continue reading Buffalo Bishops throw soft bombs at clergy sex abuse survivors and their advocates who call for accountability following AG report
How Laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo PART SIX: Concrete Reform Recommendations based on revelations in this series
(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.
How laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo PART THREE: Enabling is a product of toxic diocesan culture.
(AUDIO read by author) To combat the clergy sexual abuse crisis, it is not enough to address the abusers. We have to change the look-the-other-way culture that allowed the abusers to flourish. We examine more dark corners of the diocese to watch how this enabling culture plays out and what laity can do to root it out.
How laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo. PART FIVE: Principles for Reform
(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.
How laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo. PART FOUR: Loss of Objectivity is a product of toxic diocesan culture.
(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.
How laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo PART TWO: Accountability is a fundamental expectation.
(AUDIO read by author) If we do not have faith in the integrity of people within the system, how can we have faith in the system itself and what it produces? Transformation of diocesan culture begins with a personal gut-check of every individual who agrees to the enormous responsibility he or she assumes on behalf of innocent souls. Holding diocesan officials accountable is not optional. It is a responsibility we have to the innocent and most vulnerable.
How laity can step up their response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo. PART ONE: Recognizing toxic diocesan culture
(AUDIO read by author) This six-part series walks you through dark corners of the Diocese of Buffalo in which we explored areas of moral depravity laced with chilling aloofness and missed opportunities as we examine the the intersection of laity with the clergy sexual abuse crisis. To fix this system, we have to fix the culture that created the crisis. Laity can play a significant role in doing that.