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.
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.
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...)
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).
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.