NIAGARA FALLS (NY)
June 18, 2019
By Rick Pfeiffer
RECKONING: Survivor claims high ranking diocese official ignored pedophile priest.
BUFFALO — James Bottlinger said he was prepared to take his secret to the grave.
But watching others speak out about the Catholic Church’s handling of its child sexual abuse scandal gave him his “voice.”
Bottlinger rejected what is reportedly the largest compensation settlement ever offered by the Diocese of Buffalo, $650,000, because he says he wants answers instead regarding why church leaders repeatedly exposed children to a priest that they knew was a pedophile.
“There is truth that needs to be told and facts that need to be revealed,” said Jeff Anderson, one of Bottlinger’s attorneys. “(Bottlinger) found his voice and chose to take powerful action. He wants other survivors to come forward and he wants the Catholic Diocese and (Bishop Richard Malone) to come clean.”
In a mid-day news conference Tuesday, Bottlinger said he was abused as a teen by Father Michael R. Freeman, one of 176 diocesan priests, order priests, former priests or deceased priests who were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were made against them.
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