Renewal efforts, Rev. Ryszard Biernat

Laity step up to do what the diocese should have ordered

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...)

Accountability IS mercy, Disturbing actions of the Bishop of Buffalo, Rev. Ryszard Biernat

A perverse continuation of the corrupt diocesan culture: promoting officials complicit in coverup of clergy sexual abuse

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...)

Lay Advisory Groups

While being completely ignored by lay “leaders” in diocese, Dr. Dennis DePerro displayed integrity in face of clergy sex abuse crisis in Diocese of Buffalo

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).

Lay Advisory Groups

“I want these cardinals and these bishops to put their ass on the line and start protecting their people.”

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 mercy

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.

Lay Advisory Groups

Portraits of Betrayal in the Diocese of Buffalo: We’re taking names.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.