Back in March, the Diocese of Buffalo (in New York) released the names of 42 priests who were alleged sexual abusers. That list was made up of men who were “removed from ministry, were retired or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”
That’s… good, right? They were accused of abuse, yes, but they were no longer working for the Catholic Church! That’s accountability!
Just one problem.
That was the version of the list that Bishop Richard J. Malone released to the public.
The original list, however, had 106 priests… some of whom were still working in the diocese. That wasn’t all. The complete list included 324 names most of whom were deacons, nuns, and lay employees. That’s according to evidence uncovered by 7 Eyewitness News’ Charlie Specht.
So how did that huge list get cut down to only 42 names? Let’s just look at the priests.
The diocese’s draft abuse list included a total of 117 accused priests. Eleven priests were automatically eliminated from the list because the allegations against them were deemed not credible by the diocese.
But in addition to the 42 accused priests Malone identified in March, records show church leadership had full knowledge of — and failed to reveal to the public the identities of — the following accused priests:
- 25 accused priests who were members of religious orders like the Jesuits, Franciscans and others.
- Another 19 diocesan priests who were deceased and had been accused by “only” one victim.
- An additional 20 accused priests who were kept off the list because they did not fit the diocese’s narrowly defined “categories” for disclosure.
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.
It’s not transparency when the Church gets to decide which parts get to be transparent.
All of this is good reason for New York’s Attorney General to begin an investigation into the entire Church, similar to the one in Pennsylvania. The Church can’t be trusted to police itself. Every time they have the opportunity to come clean, they find a way to make things worse.
It’s also time for Catholics around the country to stop supporting this criminal institution. Don’t give them your money. Don’t give them your time. Don’t give them your support. And stop calling yourselves Catholic like it’s a badge of honor when it’s practically synonymous with those who sexually abuse children, cover up that abuse, or just aren’t bothered enough by it to walk away for good.
(Screenshot via YouTube)