An Alleged Secret Database Containing 324 Names and Files of Priests, Deacons, Religious and Lay Persons was Created by the Diocese of Buffalo Nicknamed the “Well” and the “Secret Archives”
(Buffalo, NY) – Today in Buffalo, an explosive news report was released detailing the alleged scope of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Diocese of Buffalo. According to the report and records obtained by the investigative news team at WKBW, the Diocese of Buffalo has been far from transparent in releasing the full scope of information and names of priests who were removed from ministry, retired, or left ministry after allegations of child sexual abuse.
“This information, if true, means the Diocese and the Bishop, as we have always suspected, are still engaged in a cover-up of massive proportions,” said Attorney Mike Reck. “The time has come for church officials to finally do the right thing and disclose all credibly accused offenders. Drain the well and open the secret archives.”
This news report follows closely behind the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and an announcement from the New York Attorney General’s Office last week, stating it issued civil subpoenas for all eight Catholic dioceses in New York as part of a civil investigation into how the Catholic Church reviewed and potentially covered up allegations of child sexual abuse.
We, along with the Attorney General, continue to urge the New York legislature to pass the Child Victims Act. This legislation is long overdue and survivors deserve to have their voices heard.
In March 2018, Bishop Malone the Diocese released the names of only 42 priests after mounting public pressure from our law firm and the sexual abuse survivors in the Diocese of Buffalo. However, it is alleged in WKBW’s report that the original draft of the Diocese’s list contained approximately 117 names of accused priests, but 11 names were removed because the diocese deemed the allegations not credible.
A second document revealed by the WKBW investigative team is a database of diocesan employees “who have been accused of criminal, abusive or inappropriate behavior, or who have been the victims of such behavior.” This list contains 324 names that are mostly priests, but also deacons, nuns and lay employees. Additionally, it is alleged the Diocese of Buffalo was awaiting confirmation to shred the materials contained in the “Well,” or “Secret Archives,” pertaining to seven priests who were involved in court proceedings.
The documents also indicate that in 2012, Bishop Malone was given a “black binder” of diocesan secrets that included information pertaining to sexual abuse. Several priests accused of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo remained in ministry even after allegations of abuse were brought to the diocese, including Fr. Fabian Maryanski who was in ministry as recently as May 2018 at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence, NY. Fr. Joseph Rappl, another priest accused of showing pornography to a 14-year-old left the priesthood, but as recently as April 2018 was working at the diocesan youth camp.