Buffalo Diocese announces Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program

Posted at 1:51 PM, Mar 01, 2018

Ahead of the news conference that the Diocese of Buffalo is holding at 3 p.m. on Thursday, it has released new details on a new program in a step towards healing. 

Bishop Richard J. Malone announced a new program called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) for individuals who have previously made claims of sexual abuse as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.

The Diocese says IRCP individuals who have previously made claims will be contacted to participate in this program. 

“I know this is the right thing to do,” said Bishop Malone. “The victims and our Church in Western New York cannot move forward until the pain of the past is properly addressed."

Bishop Malone says over the past year several other dioceses have launched similar programs, including Syracuse.

The Diocese revealed these stunning numbers. From 1950 to 2005, there were 93 claims of abuse filed against 53 cleric within the Diocese. 

"We pray that this monetary compensation together with the acknowledgment that they were hurt can be a significant step in helping them to heal. If we can help victims to heal, then we as a Church can begin to heal from this awful part of our past,” he said. 

Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Jerome Gorski and former New York State Supreme Court Justice and former Surrogate Judge Barbara Howe will be the administrators of this program.

The compensation will be determined by the administrators. 

On Tuesday, Michael Whalen, of South Buffalo, came forward alleginghe was sexually abused as a teenager by a Buffalo Priest during a ski trip nearly four decades ago. 

The same day the Diocese released a statement saying: “The Diocese of Buffalo prepared a written policy in 1990 to address the issue.”

The Diocese says since 2003, it has been conducting mandatory training and background checks.

The IRCP will be paid from self-insurance liability and investment fund reserves. 

For more information about the program, click here.