A shocking news report reveals that Buffalo Catholic officials dramatically misled the public about the number of accused clergy
For immediate release, Sept. 12, 2018
Statement by Tim Lennon, President of SNAP, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org, 415-312-5820
A shocking news report released today revealed that Buffalo Catholic officials dramatically misled the public about the number of accused clergy in the diocese. We believe this deception, particularly the removal from the complete list of those who were “still functioning as a pastor,” should warrant immediate and decisive action from the Vatican, denouncing this outrageous duplicity and demoting those involved.
In March of 2018, Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone disclosed that there were 42 accused clergy in diocese. The bishop went on to say that “releasing the names would bring more transparency to the diocese's handling of priests accused of abuse and help victims heal.”
We now know this figure was deliberately misleading, not “transparent.” There were 106 priests on the original list, but this number was whittled down to 42, excluding those who were still in ministry and various other “exceptions.” Moreover, the complete database, exposed by a courageous whistleblower, contained 324 names of priests, deacons, nuns and lay employees who had been accused of criminal behavior.
Clearly, Bishop Malone and his colleagues continue to put the reputation of the Church ahead of the safety of children. The deliberate and calculated minimization of the full scope of the problem should prod the Vatican to react, and reaffirm to the public that the Church cannot be trusted to reform itself.
We encourage victims who are still suffering in silence and shame to come forward. We urge them to share their truth with a family member, a friend, a counselor, or with a support group like ours. They are not alone.
Anyone who suffered, witnessed or suspected abuse should contact police, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred happened.
Contact the NY Attorney General Office’s Clergy Abuse Hotline: 800-771-7755.
Those who were abused in Pennsylvania or New Jersey can reach out to the hotlines set up by the attorneys general in those states:
New Jersey: 855-363-6548
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, tlennon@SNAPnetwork.org), Judith Burns-Quinn, (716-826-4554, firstname.lastname@example.org), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.