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Catholics worry about the financial future of the Buffalo Diocese

Posted at 11:58 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 23:58:19-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For years, Western New York Catholics have been struggling with the sex scandal and cover up in the Buffalo Diocese.

“I probably will look differently at the priesthood, going forward,” said Mario Vinti. The lifelong catholic from Orchard Park says, he hopes the victims get everything they deserve. But, he has some serious concerns about his church moving forward.

“We could see more parishes close, more schools close. At the same time, we sew what we reap,” said Vinti.

More than one hundred suits have already been filed against the Buffalo Diocese, only one day after the Child Victims Act’s year-long window opened.

In previous reports, I-Team Chief Investigator Charlie Specht stated that the Diocese has a $48-million surplus, with plans to payout at least $11-million to victims. Those figures were from before abuse victims had the ability to sue the Diocese.

Vinti isn't the only one worried about what the fallout from the Child Victims Act will mean to the Diocese's financial health. The Movement to Restore Trust, is a group of prominent Catholics, independent of the Diocese, trying to find answers. That includes financial answers.

“We looked at the enormous amount of good that the church does, through its schools, through Catholic Charities, through so many offices in the Diocese that we saw being threatened by financial constraints in the wake of trying to sort out the whole sex abuse scandal,” said John Hurley with the Movement to Restore Trust and the president of Canisius College.

Bishop Richard Malone had this to say in a recent video post about the CVA:

“I also want to assure you that the good and holy work of our church will continue through our parishes, schools and other ministries and institutions,” said Malone.

In 2003, the Boston Diocese paid $85-million to more than 500 sex abuse victims. In 2007, the Los Angeles diocese paid $660-million to more than 500 sex abuse victims.