Lay Advisory Groups

National Catholic podcast examines role of lay advisors to our bishops in Buffalo

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.

6-part series: Laity's response to sex abuse crisis, Lay Advisory Groups

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.

Lay Advisory Groups

Silence gives consent: Bishop’s Council of the Laity

Working with no checks and balances in the system of Church governance, our bishops have toyed with "advice" from very few select groups of laypeople for decades. While these laypeople (primarily from the Buffalo region) have no authority in the governing structure, these clergy-selected Catholics have some influence (or could if they collectively wanted to make a stink). Since 2018, when clergy sexual abuse allegations surfaced in a raging flood of media and whistleblower reports, we laity downstream assume the laypeople who advise the bishop on our behalf are behaving responsibly in looking out for our interests. That assumption on our part is a great mistake. Read why in this updated post examining the diocese's largest lay advisory group, The Bishop's Council of the Laity, who have remained aloof, unaccountable for their "advice," and virtually unknown to the laity. Until now.