Diocese of Buffalo to End Payouts to Priests with "Substantiated Allegations" of Abuse

The Diocese of Buffalo has announced it will stop financially supporting priests who have abused children and vulnerable adults, a long overdue move that we believe will help prevent abusers being able to victimize others. We call on the USCCB to make this a national policy.

Investigations by the AP and USA Today have shown that far too many clerics who have been accused of abuse were able to quietly settle elsewhere thanks to financial assistance from the Catholic Church. Some of these men then went on to abuse others. Similarly, a key component of the “circle of secrecy,” as described in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, was making payments to accused clergymen. We hope that this decision in Buffalo will break yet another one of the spokes of that circle and prevent abusive priests from quietly escaping their crimes and moving into unsuspecting communities.

Now that the Diocese of Buffalo has made this policy change, we believe that every single diocese around the country should follow in their footsteps. Instead of spending that money on abusive clerics, they should be using it to investigate and root out any church staffers who have been involved in abuse or cover-ups or to fund programs that support survivors’ needs for therapy and medical care. The USCCB should make this a national policy immediately.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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