BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Sexual abuse victims on Monday called on Bishop Richard Malone to reveal more information on sexually abusive Buffalo priests or resign as bishop.
"I think Buffalo, New York is 'Boston, Massachusetts West,'" said Robert Hoatson, a former priest who runs Road to Recovery Inc., which helps victims of clerical sex abuse. "The same level of cover-up that occurred in Boston has occurred in the Diocese of Buffalo."
Diocese of Buffalo officials assigned the Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski to work in parishes for more than a decade after he was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage girl in a church rectory.
The priest started his sexual advances on the girl when she was a 15-year-old parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Barker, according to a 1995 letter sent by her lawyer to diocese officials.
Hoatson said it is time for Malone to reveal everything he knows about all 64 accused priests that have been identified by the media. The diocese originally said it had only received abuse complaints against 42 priests.
"This is outrageous behavior," Hoatson said. "When will it stop? Well, it will stop when Bishop Malone reveals every bit of it...or he has to resign."
James Faluszczak, a former priest in the Diocese of Erie who was sexually abused as a child by a priest, said Maryanski's current assignment at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence is Malone's responsibility.
"If you let Father Maryanski say Mass publicly up until recently, what does that say about your knowledge of your own priests?" Faluszczak asked. "Bishop, your statements and your actions give cold comfort to victims when they hear that you need more time. We think you’ve had plenty of time -- you’ve had six years."
He added, "He's deceiving -- he's actively deceiving the Catholic Church in Buffalo."
Malone said through a spokesman that he has put Father Maryanski on leave and has re-opened the investigation. In a written statement, he said:
"While these issues of abuse predate my arrival as Bishop of Buffalo in 2012, it has become my responsibility to lead our diocese through the proper handling of abuse from the past. I will continue to do so now and in the future. We have made great strides in regard to protection of young people and the handling of sexual abuse cases, especially since implementing the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People."
But Judith Burns-Quinn, who runs the Buffalo chapter of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), said any apparent deception by the diocese is doubly harmful to victims, who are already struggling to cope with the abuse.
"And they live in fear, they live in other people’s fear," Burns said. "And they live in other peoples’ shame."
Faluszczak said Maryanski became Malone's problem when he became bishop and when he left him off the list of accused priests in March.
"If you can't give that information to the public, if you can't give real comfort to victims, you should step aside and allow somebody who has the heart of a shepherd and the courage of a shepherd to do this hard work," he said.