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.
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)
No disrespect to the task force that said it did an “extensive examination” of the diocese, but the greatest threat to the Church is the toxic culture spawned by our leaders who created a system that ravaged lives and souls of innocent human beings. It is this very culture which enabled the clergy sexual abuse crisis to flourish in the first place. And guess what? That toxic culture is left UNTOUCHED in the proposed recommendations for diocesan renewal we were just handed. (Click title above to read more...)
Water down for public consumption a very serious, objectively heinous incident with diocesan priests, and you'll get rewarded by your bishop. Provide a contextual redefinition of gratuitous obscene banter with subordinates and voila! You get to be in charge of renewing a diocese mired in clergy sexual abuse. You can't make this up. But you can listen to this priest talk with the bishop about diocesan "renewal" on May 8 live online.
Here's a sample of recent news media interviews Jennifer Kane, editor of LayDOB.com, has given as an advocate for not only survivors of clergy sexual abuse, but for common sense in reforming 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.
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.
We aren’t talking about being nice to a guy who made mistakes, bishops. We are talking about holding officials accountable for their gross dereliction of duty, concealing child rapists, wasting millions of donor dollars, and putting people at risk.Check out 44:44 on the timeline of this first media conference with “Bishop Mike, " as he… Continue reading Buffalo Bishops throw soft bombs at clergy sex abuse survivors and their advocates who call for accountability following AG report
(AUDIO read by author) This final post details concrete reform recommendations for laity to regain relevancy in their advisory roles in this diocese. Long-time Buffalo-area advisors working for their FIFTH or SIXTH bishop are not appropriate for this task, as demonstrated throughout this series. Included is a practical action guide for laity to get involved in the battle for the soul of our diocese.
(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.