Where are all the “good priests” in the Diocese of Buffalo?


Sept. 6, 2019

By Charlie Specht

Where are all the “good priests” in the Diocese of Buffalo? And at a time of unprecedented crisis, why aren’t they speaking out against Bishop Richard J. Malone like so many of their parishioners wish they would?

Those are two questions at the front of Kevin Koscielniak’s mind. The Buffalo native is a survivor of child sexual abuse by a Buffalo priest.

“Is the right thing to do to be silent and protect those predators?” Koscielniak asked. “Or is the right thing to do, to stand up and do something about it?”

Koscielniak knows not all Catholic priests are bad. But he says the so-called “good priests” of the diocese must stand up to the bishop for his handling of sexual abuse.

“Every priest out there who doesn’t say a word, your credibility is zero,” Koscielniak said. “You can’t go out there every single week and talk about doing the right thing and then support this.”

Bishop Malone made it clear at his emergency news conference Wednesday that no matter how many people call for his resignation, it’s the opinion of his clergy that matters most.

“If I felt like a majority of my clergy felt like I could no longer lead the diocese with them — because a bishop does not lead by himself or he’s a poor leader — then I’d have to re-think my commitment,” Malone said.

The bishop insisted that “the ones who would like to see me move on are truly the minority,” but that’s not what a priest told 7 Eyewitness News earlier this week by phone. The priest said the majority of priests he talks to want the bishop to resign. But he wouldn’t speak publicly and he asked not to be identified, for fear of retribution by the bishop.

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