The time to tell the full truth is now. In analyzing the Diocese of
Buffalo’s disclosure of 42 names of priests with allegations of child
sexual abuse, several questions remain unanswered:
• What safeguards are in place to protect children from these priests who are still alive today?
• Are any of these alleged offenders still being paid by or cared for by the Diocese?
• Why are there less names on the list now than there was 16 years ago?
• What are the names of the additional priests whose names remain hidden by the Diocese?
• Why aren’t all the names being disclosed?
• Why is the assignment history showing which communities were exposed to these alleged perpetrators still hidden?
• Have each of these priests been reported to law enforcement?
Why are the survivors empowered by this release of names still
prohibited from participating in the Diocese compensation program?
On February 27, 2004, Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Cunningham,
former Diocesan Administrator for the Buffalo diocese and current
Bishop of Syracuse, stated that “During the 53-year period of the John
Jay study, 93 complaints of sexual abuse were made against 53 members of
the clergy” in the Diocese of Buffalo.
If 53 clergy members
were named in 2004, why were only 42 names released today? What about
the additional reports made between 2002 and today? Where are those
names? Can the Diocese of Buffalo credibly claim that not one single
report of sexual abuse has been made in the past 14 years and earlier
claims have dissipated?
The diocese compensation plan announced
barely weeks ago only applies to survivors who were strong enough to
have already disclosed the abuse. This means that those survivors who
have yet to disclose this awful trauma are still shunned by the very
institution that exposed them to the alleged perpetrators.
The Diocese of Buffalo wants to appear as though it has taken the high road in releasing these 42 names. Bishop Malone claims it’s for the benefit of sexual abuse survivors
so they can be “liberated” and “empowered.” This seems disingenuous if
all survivors are not acknowledged and offered some measure of justice.
Are any of the alleged offenders being paid or supported by the Diocese
while the survivors are denied? Which way does the Diocese really want
to go? Do Bishop Malone and the Diocese want to disclose the secrets
they have held and help survivors or not? Are today’s actions and words a
half truth or a whole lie?
claimed he “inherited” the policy of keeping the names of priests
accused of sexual abuse a secret. It’s time for this policy to change
completely. It’s time for transparency, accountability and justice.