Child sex abuse survivor, advocate say Diocesan list doesn’t go far enough


March 21, 2018

By Michael Mroziak

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo ended a decades-long policy of withholding the names of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors. That changed Tuesday when the Diocese released the names of 42 priests who were removed, retired or otherwise left active ministry amid abuse accusations. Survivors of abuse and their advocates say the list is a start but doesn’t go far enough to address past wrongdoing.

The list released Tuesday morning by the Diocese of Buffalo identifies 42 priests who were, according to officials, “removed from ministry, were retired or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor” and faced more than one accusation. Of the 42 priests identified, 24 are deceased.

Diocesan officials said there would be no local interviews granted Tuesday. However, Bishop Richard Malone offered comments to the Buffalo News while on a trip to Albany.

“I have just become more and more convinced it was time to put those names out,” he told the newspaper. “The main reasons are really transparency.”

Tom Travers, a childhood sexual abuse survivor, says the Diocese of Buffalo is being “semi-transparent” with the release of the list. He also told WBFO that list is incomplete and omits the name of his own alleged abuser, the late Monsignor Sylvester Holbel, who died in 1983.

“I’ve been invited into the reconciliation program that the Buffalo diocese has forwarded,” Travers said. “I’ve received a letter from them yet they fail to acknowledge Monsignor Holbel in their current list.”

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