Catholic Diocese Agrees To Changes In Handling Sex Abuse Cases


April 17, 2019

By Marian Hetherlhy

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust have formed a Joint Implementation Team, facilitated by Leadership Roundtable, to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Among the first orders of business was to agree to changes in how the diocese handles abuse cases.

Bishop Richard Malone said the team held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

Malone will hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions. The first two dates and locations will be announced by the end of April and the first session could be held as early as May.
New Initiatives to Handle Sex Abuse Cases:
Malone will continue meeting with victims and also reserve regular hours on his schedule for individual meetings.
The Diocese’s approach to releasing the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse will be reviewed. The MRT has suggested a more detailed approach, based upon best practices from other U.S. dioceses.
The Diocese’s intake processes for sex abuse claims will be reviewed to insure victims are treated with dignity.
Malone will establish a new process for allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct made against a bishop, modeled after other dioceses, whereby complaints would automatically be referred to the Metropolitan Archdiocesan Review Board. This new process would remain in place until the Vatican or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a procedure applicable to all dioceses.

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