Date: Sunday, March 25, 2018
Palm Sunday 2018
My Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
As we enter this holiest week of the liturgical year, I want to address with you the revelation of the clerical sexual abuse scandal within our diocese.
To any and all of you who are victims of sexual abuse as children or youth by a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, I am profoundly sorry for the tremendous pain this has caused you. Nothing I could say to you can heal all of the hurt of this catastrophic breach of trust. However, as bishop of this diocese, I apologize to you. I ask you to come forward to law enforcement and to the diocese so that we can help you. Jackie Joy, our Victim Assistance Coordinator, is ready to take your call at 716-895-3010.
By now, you have seen the list of priests who were removed from ministry, were retired or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. This list has likely evinced feelings of great distress and even betrayal. I share those emotions. Please know that your priests feel the same way. They are greatly distressed by the victims’ pain and trauma. We also feel a deep sense of shame that the witness of our priestly integrity has been tainted by the despicable sins and crimes of a number of our brother priests.
My column in the April edition of the WNY Catholic will include more thoughts on this important topic. For now, I simply want to encourage each of you to keep the faith. The Diocese of Buffalo is committed to correcting the mistakes and sins of the past while we continue to assist victims. Thank you for your faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. I truly believe that the Church of Buffalo will be stronger for having weathered this present storm. Before I close, I must mention my deep gratitude to all of the good priests of our diocese for their lives of integrity and dedicated pastoral ministry. Please support your pastor and all of our priests as we endure this difficult time along with you. Thank you!
Please join me in praying for all victims of abuse everywhere. Please pray for our Church in Western New York as we continue to deal with this awful part of our past as we carry on our efforts to protect God’s children. May this Passiontide bring us closer to our crucified Lord as we await the celebration of His resurrection!
Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Bishop of Buffalo