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]
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.
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.
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...)