Lay Advisory Groups

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

In the midst of this catastrophic situation of the Diocese of Buffalo–brought on by our bishops–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 that 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.

Disturbing actions of the Bishop of Buffalo

A portrait of clericalism in the Diocese of Buffalo

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.

Accountability IS mercy

My message to Papal Nuncio: As a corroborating witness to Msgr LiPuma’s participation in clergy sexual abuse coverup, I object to his candidacy to any office or title in the Roman Catholic Church

In 2004, a 23-year-old seminarian wrote to vice chancellor Monsignor David LiPuma asking for help concerning sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a diocesan priest--help he never received. So, I have written a letter. It's a letter not just to the monsignor's superiors, but ultimately to him personally...for the salvation of his soul. No matter what happens with his career, we pray that Monsignor David LiPuma will at the very least own up to the harm he inflicted upon the seminarian and others while operating as an officer of the Diocese of Buffalo and repent. (To access the letter, click title above)

fictional remedies to clergy sex abuse crisis

FICTION: Women in diocesan leadership can help prevent clergy sex abuse

We look at three women who held influential positions in diocesan chanceries--two in Buffalo. They are living proof that women are not the silver bullet to keeping us safe. Reduced to two choices in their positions, they can play the game and stay, or they can act on their moral conscience and leave. A bishop is not necessarily going to be persuaded by whatever they bring to the table. It sure didn't work in Buffalo. (Click title above to read more...)

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.