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...)
(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) 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.
Working with no checks and balances in the system of Church governance, our bishops have toyed with "advice" from very few select groups of laypeople for decades. While these laypeople (primarily from the Buffalo region) have no authority in the governing structure, these clergy-selected Catholics have some influence (or could if they collectively wanted to make a stink). Since 2018, when clergy sexual abuse allegations surfaced in a raging flood of media and whistleblower reports, we laity downstream assume the laypeople who advise the bishop on our behalf are behaving responsibly in looking out for our interests. That assumption on our part is a great mistake. Read why in this updated post examining the diocese's largest lay advisory group, The Bishop's Council of the Laity, who have remained aloof, unaccountable for their "advice," and virtually unknown to the laity. Until now.