[Denial is not a river in Egypt, but it runs through the Buffalo Diocese]


by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 12, 2018

Publicized number of accused priests was 42, but number in internal documents is over 100

BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) – The diocese of Buffalo has been caught in an apparent lie about the number of clergy accused of sex abuse.

According to local news outfit WKBW Buffalo, the diocese’s own internal documents contradict the claim made publicly by the diocese in March that only 42 priests in the diocese “were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”

In addition to the 42 priests named publicly by the diocese under Bp. Richard Malone, the diocese’s own internal files list credible sex abuse allegations against another 64 priests — for a grand total of 106. There were also 11 accused priests whose names the diocese removed because the allegations were deemed not credible.

The names of those 64 priests were left out of Bp. Malone’s statement for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Twenty-five of them were members of religious orders, 19 were deceased with only one alleged victim and another 20 accused priests were left off because they did not meet the diocese’s narrowly defined conditions for disclosure — according to WKBW’s investigative report published Wednesday.

WKBW even reports, “In some cases, priests were kept off the list because they were still in ministry or because the diocese had previously hidden the abuse from parishioners, documents show.”

WKBW noted that another diocesan document listed a total of 324 names of diocesan personnel accused of abuse, but this list also included deacons, nuns and even lay employees.

The report states that the official list of 42 was reduced to that size by a series of arbitrary rules established by diocesan personnel when deciding which allegations to publicize and which to keep under wraps.

WKBW’s report is the latest development in an ongoing investigation into the Buffalo diocese. Fearing a leaker, the diocese has clamped down tightly on security restrictions.

The diocese of Buffalo is one of eight Catholic dioceses in the state of New York. The New York attorney general recently subpoenaed all eight dioceses, ordering them to hand over their documents on clerical sex abuse allegations.

Faithful Catholics have been protesting outside St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo, demanding transparency, holding signs, praying the Rosary and demanding Bp. Malone’s resignation.

Similar protests have taken place outside the offices of the archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey.

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  1. The ultimately-to-be-vetted number of verifiable cases may change, yet again, up or down. When I lived in the Diocese there were occasional scandals that did receive media attention but far too few to ever indicate numbers involved at so monstrously high a percentage of the clerical population. This is nothing short of staggering information.
    A contact in the Diocese told me recently that literally everyone he speaks with is following news developments closely and is completely disgusted. Attendance and weekly donations are falling off at a record rate. I don’t think Bp. Malone will be able to hold out for long. News of investigations into coverups in ME, when he was the Ordinary there, apparently are underway, as well.
    I heard of, but never actually saw, any priest in the Diocese who manifested the least sign of being other than serious, hard working, generous and pious. I mean that, and that fact is borne out by my not seeing more than two named as “alleged” among the 30 – 40 priests I did get to know through my involvement in Catholic education, the Dominican Third Order, the Legion of Mary and with two Eastern Rite parishes, over the decades.
    Of the two I knew who ended up named as “alleged”, both offered the Latin Mass and were very outspoken about morality and liturgical abuses. Both were isolated instantly with zero contact with their own parishioners and NEITHER of these two exemplary priests were ever civilly or canonically charged or tried for any offenses at all. In fact, in one case the DA announced within days that an adult woman, who quickly withdrew her false allegation, had changed her story and an immediate police investigation turned up no evidence. In the other case, it was no secret that the priest in question was for years a traditional “target” not afraid to speak up for the rights of Catholics to the ancient Roman Rite and purity! Of course, the powers that be had had just about enough of such preaching and it was just a matter of “when” an unproven false allegation would appear to take him out, as well.
    Of course, I knew only a fraction of the clergy in the Diocese and deliberately avoided liberal parishes for years before permanently attending traditional Latin or Eastern Rite liturgies. Thus, I was not privy to, nor cared to know about, those situations which today are headlined. It is deeply distressing personally to watch all this but I hope my comments will show that excellent priests ARE STILL DOING THEIR HOLY WORK, day in and out in my old home Diocese. And I can only imagine what daily life for them has turned into under the glare of this media carnival – as understandable as it is.

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