in Buffalo, priests accused of sexual abuse will be monitored by an independent monitor

“The Diocese of Buffalo and its leaders have, for far too long, failed in their primary mission to guide and protect our children” : it is with these words that the Attorney General of the State of New York, Letitia James, justified the unprecedented legal agreement signed Thursday, October 25 with the Diocese of Buffalo. The Catholic Church in the second city of this state in the north-east of the United States will now have to comply with the ” control ” of New York state justice.

Every priest ‘credibly accused of abuse’ by a review board of the diocese undertakes to follow a “custom plan”, which provides a list of restrictions. Priests are thus prohibited from viewing pornographic content, having a post office box or exercising a priestly function, which includes wearing the Roman collar.

Controlled activities

That commitment will be verified by an independent monitor appointed by the Diocese of Buffalo, where nearly half of the approximately 1.5 million residents are baptized into the Catholic faith. This agent will be authorized “to visit at any time, unannounced and without notice” to the priest for whom he is responsible.

The priest must submit his activities to the authorization of his supervisor, his ” Internet connection “ has his “night journeys”through its participation in “support groups”. The agreement also provides for a monthly meeting between the two interlocutors to verify compliance with the agreement by the priests.

These monitors will be overseen by Kathleen McChesney, a former top official in the FBI, the US Federal Criminal Investigation Department, who also headed the office of child protection at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “By choosing to defend the perpetrators of sexual abuse rather than the most vulnerable, the Diocese of Buffalo and its leaders have damaged the confidence of the faithful and provoked in many a crisis in their faith”she said.

In addition, Bishop Richard Malone, former Bishop of Buffalo, and Bishop Edward Grosz, who served as his Auxiliary, will no longer be able to hold office in religious or secular charities in New York State.

Bishop Malone is accused of failing to take action despite being made aware of several cases of sexual abuse within his diocese. Pope Francis announced his resignation in December 2019.

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