Protester with sign outside Diocese of Buffalo. September 10, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Catching Up on the Latest Diocese Report

"The report does not surprise me in any way, shape or form."

April 12, 2019 - 8:41 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - There was plenty of reaction on social media after Charlie Specht, and investigative reporter for Channel 7, released a story claiming the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo withheld the names of 25 priests who have been accused of abuse.

Given the scope of the scandal that rocked the diocese in 2018, this revelation appears to build upon the notion by many that the diocese has not been entirely truthful or transparent in its handling of these cases.

Robert Hoatson is the president of Road to Recovery, a not for profit that focuses on helping victims of abuse, and he has been calling on Bishop Richard Malone's resignation for more than a year.

"The report does not surprise me in any way, shape or form," said Hoatson. "We know that Bishop Richard Malone has been deceptive all along, that we have never really gotten the true story of sexual abuse allegations by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo, and we still do not have the complete transparent and honest story. The fact that there are 25 more names, including religious order priests and diocesan priests from Buffalo, indicate that there are records still in the Diocese of Buffalo that have not been revealed, and we call today for Bishop Malone to resign since he clearly cannot manage this crisis."

Listen to the full conversation with Hoatson below:

Of course, the diocese responded to the Channel 7 report by saying, "Recent media attacks by a television reporter alleging that the diocese has not "come clean about the true scope" of the sexual abuse that occurred in this diocese are simply not accurate."

The release went on to say:

"The diocese publicizes the names of priests if the allegations can be investigated and substantiated. Even if a claim cannot be investigated by the diocese because, for example, the priest is deceased or belongs to a religious order, the priest's name will be added to the list if the diocese is aware of more than one claim against the priest."

Canisius President John Hurley, who also serves with the Movement to Restore Trust, says this report isn't really a bombshell like many are making it out to be because it was already known that the diocese was withholding certain names for the reason mentioned above.

"The diocese has always acknowledged that there were names that were not included on the list for various reasons," said Hurley. "Principally, priests who are deceased for whom there is only a single accusation of abuse, they've acknowledged that almost from the start."

However, Hurley noted that the decision to not fully disclose the list, regardless of the circumstances, probably wasn't the best decision, especially considering everything that happened in 2018.

"It's not as simple a question as people would like to think it is," he said. "That said, if you turn back the clock, the people who are involved in our effort of the The Movement to Restore Trust, believe that more disclosure is better than less."

Listen to the full conversation with Hurley below:

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