Letter: Bishop Fisher not showing evidence of being accessible

Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

October 3, 2021

Some eight months ago, Bishop Michael Fisher arrived in Buffalo, as the new Catholic bishop, but he does not give the impression that he is very enthused about his new position. His mandate is quite unclear. While bishops are called to pastor and shepherd, he gives the impression of being more engaged in wearing the hat of a CEO.

He seems to have lacked prioritizing to listen and engage with a broad cross-section of people. Instead, he appears to only engage with his lawyers, the wealthy and those who he sees as the most influential. He certainly has not made himself accessible to the victims of the most heinous crimes of sexual abuse that occurred at the hands of those who have led various institutions within his diocese.

Fisher does not show that that he welcomes ideas or advice. He comes across as extremely removed from “his flock” and more comfortable presiding from his desk at diocesan headquarters.

The bishop often mentions the “Road to Renewal,” which he sells as a spiritual journey, when in reality, it sounds like more of a corporate reorganization as a result of the bankruptcy of the Buffalo Diocese.

While he has made many statements to attempt to convince people that his diocese should be trusted, actions speak much louder than words. He needs to make himself more accessible to his people and he needs to be more of a shepherd, as opposed to acting as a corporate executive selling a public relations statement.

Marc Pasquale