BUFFALO, New York (ChurchMilitant.com) - The diocese of Buffalo is under intense criticism for covering up alleged clerical sex abuse.
On June 1, survivors of priestly sex abuse called on Bp. Richard Malone and Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz to resign from their positions in the Church. They also called for a criminal investigation into the diocese.
In calling for the bishops' resignations, the victims referred to investigative videos produced last month by local 7 Eyewitness News. The video reports documented the diocese's decades-long history of covering up pedophile priests.
Sixty-five priests in the diocese of Buffalo stand accused of sexual misconduct, according to the first of the three video reports from 7 Eyewitness News. According to the documents that the news channel obtained, the diocese smuggled abusive priests between parishes for nearly five decades, "feigning suprise" whenever allegations of clerical sex abuse came to public light.
The three-part video report series is entitled "Catholic Cover-Up."
Tandem to the video exposés, thee news channel's investigative team put together an informational webpage documenting the diocese's history of covering up abuse, with sections designated to each Buffalo bishop, auxiliary bishop and monsignor implicated in what their investigation uncovered.
Part one of the series covers the early days of the priest sex abuse problem under Bp. Edward Head, who led the Buffalo diocese from 1972 to 1995.
Part two of the series focused on the way priest sex abuse allegations were handled by Buffalo's Bp. Henry Mansell, who headed the diocese from 1995 to 2003.
During the second video exposé, abuse victim Daniel Bauer speaks on camera. Bauer said about Buffalo's past and present bishops who have allegedly covered up abuse.
"These bishops could go out and run a training camp for the Mafia on how to be slick and get away with stuff," he said.
Bauer tried to talk about his abuse with Bp. Mansell. He refused to meet with Bauer, but Bauer's insistence eventually won out. Bauer said the hour-long meeting with Bp. Mansell was far less productive than he hoped.
The third part of the video report series describes with graphic details how a seminarian witnessed a priest sexually abusing a 6-year-old boy in 1992. The seminarian, who remained anonymous in the report, wrote a letter about the incident to Auxiliary Bishop Grosz and then-Bp. Edward Head (now deceased). The anonymous source claims that the two bishops basically ignored his letter that warned about the abusive priest.
Spearheading the recent call for Buffalo's bishops to resign is Robert Hoatson, a former Catholic priest.
Hoatson claims when he was in the priesthood, superiors revoked his faculties as punishment for his efforts to help alleged victims of clerical sex abuse. He asked the Vatican to relieve him of his priestly duties, and Church officials approved of his voluntary removal from the priesthood in 2011.
But the Media Report, a website that points out anti-Catholic bias in media coverage of the priest sex abuse scandal, has raised doubts about Hoatson's sincerity. The Media Report called Hoatson, back in 2013, "another angry ex-priest who never met a microphone he didn't love."
It also criticized Hoatson for making claims about repressed memories of sex abuse. The theory behind repressed memories is that the subconscious blots out painful memories from the conscious, an idea some doubt.