Mayhem in Buffalo

News: Commentary
by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  January 13, 2020   

Any hope left?

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BUFFALO, N.Y. ( - After years of complaints by clerical sex abuse victims, and under a new diocesan administrator, Buffalo's victims of homosexual abuse are still looking for answers and justice.

In November Bp. Richard Malone and other New York bishops met with Pope Francis for their regular five-year visit. After returning from Rome, he made a video saying, "In a few words spoken privately to me, it was clear that the Pope understands the difficulties and distress we here in Buffalo, and I personally, have been experiencing."

Malone added that the pope "was very understanding and kind."

Buffalo resident and sex-abuse witness Wes Walawender told Church Militant:

It's unfortunate that the comment and the visit with the pope involves another opportunity to massage [Malone's] ego. I would hope that Malone would see reality for the sake of the victims and for the Catholics of the diocese of Buffalo who are suffering due to the lack of leadership, lack of transparency and lack of faith.

In early December, Malone stepped down as head of the Buffalo diocese — a move laypeople, seminarians and priests in the diocese had been demanding since 2018.

It was announced on Dec. 4 that Albany's Bp. Edward Scharfenberger was picked to administer the diocese. Though he has a good reputation with some Catholics, new developments may point to him as just another company man toeing the party line.

I know priests who are gay and they're great.

In an article published by the Times Union, Scharfenberger made comments showing he is soft on homosexual priests, maintaining he and nearly 20 Albany diocese employees attended so-called safe space training for gay Catholics.

Scharfenberger also noted, "I know priests who are gay and they're great." He made the comment despite the U.S. Catholic Bishops' own investigation, which showed more than 80% of the sex abuse cases revealed in 2002 were of a homosexual nature.

In light of Scharfenberger's apparent softness on homosexual priests, it's unknown if he will actually do anything to address the true nature of sex abuse in Buffalo.

Watch the Church Militant panel discuss the newest developments in the diocese of Buffalo: The Download—Mayhem in Buffalo.

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