Loss of Faith New York AG Monitoring Buffalo Diocese Due to Rampant Child Sexual Abuse within the Church

Recently, the New York Attorney General (AG) announced a landmark settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo for mishandling child sexual abuse cases . According to a recent report, the unprecedented settlement will allow for “sweeping government oversight” of the Buffalo Diocese. Here is more on the New York AG monitoring the Buffalo Diocese due to rampant child sexual abuse within the church.

The Buffalo Diocese Child Sexual Abuse Scandal

In November 2020, the New York AG brought suit against the Roman Catholic Buffalo Diocese Bishop Emeritus Malone and former Auxiliary Bishop Grosz for mishandling child sexual abuse claims and failing to uphold their responsibilities to victims of abuse, parishioners, and the public.

The AG’s lawsuit against the Buffalo diocese came after an extensive two-year investigation into shocking child sexual abuse allegations. According to a recent article, it is alleged in the suit, that the two former bishops (Malone and Grosz) shielded more than two dozen accused priests from an investigation by the Vatican and allowed them to either retire or go on medical leave.

The settlement agreement does not involve financial penalties. Instead, the unprecedented agreement “mandates a series of structural reforms within the diocese, particularly regarding its handling of abuse allegations.” Part of the settlement requires that “priests who have been credibly accused of abuse will be assigned an independent monitor with law enforcement experience to ensure they comply with a list of restrictions, which include a ban on watching pornography, performing priestly duties, and having a post office box.” Former FBI official Kathleen McChesney will oversee the monitors. McChesney led the child protection office at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Child Victims Act

In 2020, the diocese filed for federal bankruptcy, seeking financial protection after being named as a defendant in hundreds of child sexual abuse lawsuits brought under New York’s Child Victims Act (CVA). The CVA created a one-year lookback period for childhood abuse survivors to pursue claims against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred. The CVA window has closed. However, New York also made significant changes to the statutes of limitations for numerous adult and child sexual abuse offenses. These changes were made to help establish time limits that allow for the time a victim may require to acknowledge their abuse and process their trauma.

The Adult Survivors Act

New York passed the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) earlier this year. Like the CVA, the newly enacted ASA will provide those who were adults at the time of their abuse a one-year window to file suit against their abusers and institutions responsible for their abuse. The ASA window opens on November 24, 2022, and will close on November 24, 2023.

When families attend church or other religious services, they have faith that their children will be safe with the institution’s leadership members. Unfortunately, some in power have exploited this sacred trust and perpetrated acts of horrendous sexual abuse on the most vulnerable members of their congregation. Sexual abuse survivors deserve the opportunity to pursue damages for the harm inflicted upon them by their abusers and any third parties who failed to protect them. If you or a loved one have suffered abuse, it’s important that you get the help and information you need. Contact an experienced sexual abuse injury attorney to learn more about how to get the support and advocacy you need.

Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney

Every survivor deserves to have the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable. If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, PC understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.