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Diocese of Buffalo announces plans to move forward, survivors say more needs to be done

Posted at 9:24 PM, May 08, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "I have zero tolerance for any abusive behavior criminal act by any of the clergy, and certainly towards a minor and towards an adult,"

Bishop of Buffalo Michael William Fisher announced, in conjunction with the Movement to Restore Trust, how the diocese will be looking to help move the clergy forward following years of sexual abuse cases. Those cases lead to the declaration of bankruptcy last February.

"There are issues that we need to confront in the days and weeks ahead and that is something that I cannot do alone," Bishop Fisher said.

The Bishop says those issues will be confronted through new initiatives. The diocese will group parishes together in "families" looking to increase participation and changing the way Catholic education is done. This "Road to Renewal" will look to strengthen parish life, Catholic education and other ministries in the diocese with a short-term goal of identifying their immediate needs and helping to revitalize parishes in the post-pandemic period.

What was not address, was how the diocese will assure the clergy that the sexual abuse and resulting cover ups will never happen again.

"They spent all of this time trying to establish a road to renewal and to build trust when they still haven't done anything to address the problem that put them in this very place," Kevin Koscielniak, founder of Buffalo Survivors Group, said.

Koscielniak believes that the diocese is hiding behind the bankruptcy announcement, which was done to pay sexual abuse survivors restitution.

"The people of Buffalo don't believe that just because this bankruptcy is going on the problem is being fixed its not," Koscielniak said.

Buffalo Survivors Group says they hope to have more conversation with the diocese in the future. As for the diocese, they say their initiative's could take a few years to get up and running.