Cardinal Dolan Weighing Options in Buffalo
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York is expected to publicly weigh in on Bishop Richard Malone and the abuse scandal currently engulfing the Diocese of Buffalo. As Metropolitan for the state of New York, this situation is one of the first real tests of the USCCB’s new “metropolitan model” for bishop accountability. In order to help Cardinal Dolan pass this test, we have a few suggestions.
First, he should publicly denounce his colleague to the north and urge him to resign. In 2002, bishops promised that “fraternal correction” will help ensure that bishops followed the rules and standards laid out in the Dallas charter. Yet in the 17 years since, we have not really seen any public evidence of this correction at all. Now, Cardinal Dolan has the chance to live up that promise from 2002 and publicly encourage Bishop Malone to step down and let someone else take over in Buffalo.
Second, Cardinal Dolan should make it clear to parishioners and the public that all reports related to sexual abuse or church impropriety should be made to A.G. Letitia James, not to internal church authorities. He should use parish announcements and websites to share information related to AG James’ investigation, including the abuse reporting hotline at 1-800-771-7755.
Finally, he should appeal to the Vatican to step in and intervene immediately instead of continuing to delay and ignore the situation in Buffalo. Cardinal Dolan is one of the most powerful church officials in the United States – it is time for him to use this power and advocate on behalf of innocent children and vulnerable adults who deserve better protection than they are currently receiving in Buffalo.
If Cardinal Dolan really wants to help, he should consider taking these three steps immediately.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)