Sexual abuse victims say the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo releasing a list of priests accused of sexual abuse is a good first step.
But they say that’s all it is -- a first step.
Victims and their lawyers say there are categories of potential pedophile priests that this list leaves out.
First, there’s a discrepancy in the numbers. In 2004, Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham -- who was then the number two man in the Buffalo Diocese -- said there were a total of 53 priests in the diocese accused of abuse since 1950.
Fourteen years later, the list released today includes the names of 42 priests. Spokesman George Richert says the missing 11 priests are from religious orders and the diocese is “not intending to release more information than the names.”
There’s no mention of where the abuse occurred (what parishes), during what time period and how the diocese handled the abuse.
The diocese is also keeping secret the names of dead clergymen who had only one allegation against them. If someone else comes forward with allegations, Richert says they may add to the list.
Maybe the most pressing question is whether there are any current, practicing priests under investigation by the diocese because of new allegations. We asked the bishop this question directly last week.
“Are you looking now into any active diocesan priests who have any allegations against them?”
“We will be waiting to see if any new names come in.”
Today Richert refused to comment on whether there were any active priests under investigation.
Bishop Malone, meanwhile, is in Albany, where he is reported to be lobbying against the proposed Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims.