December 26, 2018
By Jeannine Pitas
2018 has not been an easy year for Catholics around the world as more and more cases of sexual abuse of children have come to light. One particularly hard-hit community was my own native Diocese of Buffalo, NY. In October of this year I was shocked to learn that Siobhan O’Connor – former assistant to Bishop of Buffalo Richard Malone – had leaked documents to a local news station revealing that the Catholic Church’s leader in Western New York had allowed known criminals to remain on the job. While first preferring to remain anonymous, in October O’Connor chose to go public, sharing her story on CBS 60 Minutes and thus revealing her identity. Becoming a whistleblower has naturally changed O’Connor’s life, but for her it felt like a necessary leap of faith.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to interview O’Connor. Incidentally, we share a personal connection – we are the same age and as high school students had the same piano teacher, so we would regularly perform together in recitals and other events. I am grateful to Siobhan for taking the time to speak with me and share her story of becoming a whistleblower and speaker of truth.
Q: You’ve not had a Facebook account for nearly ten years. I get the sense that you’re a rather private person. Now, you’ve had a kind of instant fame. How has it been going from being a private person to a public person?
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