Laity can now read sworn testimony by two Diocese of Buffalo bishops who painted a chilling picture of dereliction of duty in how they handled reports of clergy sexual abuse the past 20 years. A deep dive into documentary evidence and testimonies arguably reveals a cruel vein of inhumanity, a sociopathic trait most disturbing in the way they handled the case of Rev. Art Smith. Whistleblowers Father Ryszard Biernat and Siobhan O’Connor weigh in.
News surfaced on the international front that further vindicated the heroic efforts of Buffalo whistleblowers. Within a week of the publication of The Buffalo News‘ front-page photo of Rev. Ryszard Biernat,former diocesan vice chancellor, in blue coveralls carrying a ladder in his current job as building maintenance manager... a multi-part documentary series in Poland finished up its television run revealing in one of its episodes shocking new details about the way officials in the Diocese of Buffalo allegedly handled physical reports of clergy sexual abuse.It is a shameful reflection not just of diocesan officials including our bishop, but of we laity 60 years after Vatican II. By not bothering to address even this single case, we laity collectively join our bishop in tacitly enforcing a universal gag order on all diocesan employees (especially clergy) who witness corruption or criminal/abusive behavior. The bishop's retaliation is just too damn severe. [Click title to read article]
[Audio available read by author] Our bishops (past and present) are spending millions of dollars to get the best attorneys money can buy so they can avoid accountability (suffering). While this latest lawsuit settlement provides a theater piece towards diocesan “renewal,” in reality the deals cut with the bishops cheapen the human suffering that they helped perpetuate—ruined lives, suicides, destruction of faith and loss of souls amidst the clergy sex abuse crisis. This is not how Christ the King taught his apostles to lead. [Click headline to continue reading]
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 allegations of Bishop Grosz's interference with the investigation of a clergy sexual abuse report, 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]
Edward Grosz (left) Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus in the Diocese of Buffalo, concelebrates a funeral Mass on March 7, 2022 while under a very public suspension from engaging in priestly/episcopal ministry, pending a Church investigation into allegations of sexually abusing a minor. Clergy sexual abuse survivors express outrage at Bishop Fisher's tone-deaf public coddling of Grosz. Whistleblower, Siobhan O'Connor weighs in.
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.
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.
Clericalism- a form of elitism. A sense of belonging to a separate class of persons marked by privilege, deference and power. Bishop Michael Fisher continues to do nothing about the credible allegation that this auxiliary bishop threatened a seminarian to keep him from reporting sex abuse suffered at the hands of a priest. There's been NO investigation into that allegation made by the victim back in 2019. Want to know why? Keep reading.