The Vatican Finally Takes Action in the Diocese of Buffalo

Finally, after over a year of scandal, the Vatican has finally deigned to step into the mess that is the Diocese of Buffalo.

According to reports, the Vatican has tapped Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn to lead an investigation into embattled Buffalo prelate Richard Malone. Such an investigation is the least that the Vatican can do in a diocese that has seen a whistle-blower go publica seminarian come forward about abuse and cover-up, and secret recordings reveal ham-fisted attempts at controlling the narrative.

We cannot help but notice, however, that just a few months ago Catholic officials were touting yet another 'new policy' in which the bishop from the biggest diocese in the state would 'investigate' wrongdoing by bishops from smaller dioceses. So that would mean that New York's Cardinal Tim Dolan would be looking into the Buffalo diocesan mess. But not surprisingly, as so often happens, church officials have ignored their own promises and procedures, offering no real explanation other than this alleged probe is "not subject" to that just-enacted policy. As we have noted for ages, powerful church prelates handle every case in whatever way is most convenient for themselves, irrespective of policies, protocols, procedures or promises.

Bishop DiMarzio has a checkered past when it comes to cases of clergy abuse and just last year was found to have ignored his own safety protocols in hiring a priest who had been accused of abuse. Given this, it is hard to understand why it was Bishop DiMarzio who was chosen for this task.

Yet while the situation in Buffalo has finally gained the Vatican’s attention, we know that the situation was already being monitored by federal law enforcement officials. Regardless of what Bishop DiMarzio finds in his own internal investigation, we will be looking to the investigations done by professionals in law enforcement and New York Attorney General Letitia James to finally handle the scandal engulfing Buffalo.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(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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  • Margie Sinton
    commented 2019-10-04 16:50:04 -0500
    I’ll bet the Vatican will try to ‘run out the clock’ – drag their feet and stonewall until Malone reaches retirement age and he will be allowed to gracefully retire. Who wants the other side of this bet? I need lunch money. Since a proven almost 90% of Catholics want Malone to resign, parishioners should vote with their pocketbooks . Nothing else will get the Vatican to respond and violate the Old Boys Network.

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