Just about two years ago, 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.”
The problem was that this was only the public list. The original list had 106 priests… some of whom were still working in the diocese. And the complete list included 324 names, most of whom were deacons, nuns, and lay employees.
The point is that child sexual abuse wasn’t just a thing of the past in this diocese. It was fully in the present and the cover-up was still going on. New York’s Attorney General soon began an investigation into the entire Church. Bishop Richard J. Malone refused to resign at the time, but he finally left in December, following an investigation by the Vatican.
And today, that diocese announced it’s filing for bankruptcy.
With its filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the western New York diocese became the second in the state to file for Chapter 11 reorganization, and one of more than 20 dioceses to seek bankruptcy protection nationwide. Most recently, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, filed Feb. 19.
The Buffalo diocese already has paid out about $18 million — including $1.5 million from the sale of the bishop’s mansion — to more than 100 victims under an independent compensation program established in 2018. It faces more than 240 new lawsuits filed since August, when the New York’s Child Victims Act suspended the statute of limitations to give childhood victims one year to pursue even decades-old allegations of abuse.
This isn’t some anti-Catholic scheme. It’s a punishment brought on by the Church’s own irresponsible actions.
They have no one to blame but themselves.
(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were published earlier)