An independent organization of concerned, committed Catholics in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo formed to assert the laity’s rightful role in the Church and to help lead a movement to restore trust and confidence in the Church in the wake of public disclosures about the Diocese’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

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Buffalo Parishes Seeking Web Savvy Volunteers

June 29, 2020

The Diocese of Buffalo is looking for volunteers to help some of their pastors across the Diocese create a website for their parish. Other parishes have websites but need help getting online giving activated on their site.   

The Diocese would like to match volunteers with web site design or updating experience up with particular pastors or others at the parish to walk them through the creation and use of a parish website and on line giving.  

If any member of our MRT extended group, or anyone you are in contact with, would like to help,  please email Sister Mary McCarrick, Chief Administrative Officer of the Diocese of Buffalo at  Please use subject line: “I can help a parish create a website or activate on line giving”.   

The Conversation

Catholic activism, not repentance for sexual abuse, is what forces clergy to resign

By Brian Clites | AP
Dec. 16, 2019

In Buffalo, New York, a community of affluent and highly educated Catholics formed the Movement to Restore Trust in 2018. The group is led by executives in business, law and education, and they were the most powerful of several Catholic organizations in calling on Bishop Malone to resign.

Other Catholics in Buffalo staged protests and created an online petition demanding Malone’s departure. Borrowing a strategy that Catholic survivors began using in the 1990s, some parishioners placed protest notes instead of money into the weekly collection basket. The notes said they were withholding donations to the church until Malone stepped down.
Priests join groups in supporting survivors.

Like Voice of the Faithful, the Movement to Restore Trust and other Catholic survivor-advocate groups in Buffalo have tried to work within the Church, maintaining close ties with clergy.

These strong relationships allowed Buffalo Catholics to eventually win the public support of their local priests.

MRT “Path Forward” Symposium

On December 7, 2019, The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) hosted a symposium to begin to chart the path forward in our diocese.  

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, newly appointed apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo and bishop of Albany, was in attendance and delivered opening remarks.

Click on the button below to view the Video of this event.


The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) called for the bishop’s resignation on September 5th and since then we have reflected on what we feel are the essential tasks ahead. John Hurley submitted a Viewpoints piece to the Buffalo News that was published on Sunday, December 1st. In that piece, he outlines the MRT “Path Forward.”

A copy of his letter is available on our website. Follow the link below.

Who We Are

We are an independent group of concerned Catholics who are committed to our faith, to restoring trust in our Diocese and to the Vatican II ideal that we, laity and ordained alike, are all the church.

Our Mission

We seek to give voice to Catholics who share deep concerns about the state of the Diocese. Through constructive reform, not revolution, we seek to act in conformity with Catholic beliefs and canon law.

What We Are Doing

We are recruiting interested lay people, religious women and the clergy of the Diocese in developing a path forward for our Diocese, in line with Catholic beliefs, ecclesiology and canon law.

Work Groups

Six work groups have been formed based on The Movement to Restore Trust proposed areas of inquiry.  Each group is intended to address one of the these issues

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From what I’ve seen around the country, I can’t think of a single place where you have a better organized, more talented set of lay individuals who want to partner with their church and their bishop than in Buffalo. And all I can say is that things in the Diocese of Buffalo are moving as quickly as I’ve seen anywhere in the country.

Dominic Perri

Senior Leadership Consultant
Leadership Roundtable

I see their [MRT’s] model as both heart and head. They are keenly aware that people are deeply wounded and angry and committed to their church, and so there’s a process to care for that. And there’s also a process looking at how can we address the leadership culture and the trust rebuilding and the institution of the church moving forward.

Kim Smolik

Chief Executive Officer
Leadership Roundtable

Leadership Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious, and clergy working together to promote best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity.

(from WBFO Radio interviews)

We Believe

That the voices of survivors of sex abuse and their families must be a strong presence in this initiative. We believe that Catholics, lay and ordained, must walk together toward the holiness to which we are called, and create a new culture of leadership and management that is transparent, accountable, competent, and grounded in justice for survivors in order to restore trust and safeguard the essential mission of the Catholic Church.

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