Priest Convocation 2019

Priest Convocation 2019

Statement about Priest Convocation 2019

John Hurley addresses 2019 Priest Convocation

John Hurley, president of Canisius College, addresses 2019 Priest Convocation

Priests from the Diocese of Buffalo gathered from June 4-6 at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora for their annual Convocation. The theme of this year’s gathering was “Together: Renew, Recommit, Restore – to give you a future of hope.”

During these three days priests reflected on current circumstances, learned more about the Movement to Restore Trust from Organizing Committee member John Hurley, had dialogue about plans for renewal and targeted future goals. A very poignant and solemn moment of the Convocation included a presentation by a victim/survivor of clergy sexual abuse. At the conclusion of the Convocation, the reaction of the priests was that it was one of the best/most productive Convocations in recent years because it was based on dialogue focused on the commitment to move forward together, to renew and reform.

The priests recommitted to working with the Bishop, and to immediate and significant action working with the MRT by strengthening the partnership with the laity, enhancing communication, supporting accused priests, increasing prayer, worship and retreats, and among other things, addressing the spiritual well-being of priests.

Priest Convocation 2019

Statement about Priest Convocation 2019 Priests from the Diocese of Buffalo gathered from June 4-6 at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora for their annual Convocation. The theme of this year’s gathering was “Together: Renew, Recommit, Restore – to give you a...

Parish Listening Sessions

As a direct result of the MRT recommendation, Bishop Malone has agreed to a series of listening sessions across the diocese.  The listening sessions will include Bishop Malone praying with the faithful, hearing their thoughts and comments, inviting discussion and...

Diocese of Buffalo and MRT Announce Reform Initiatives

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), an independent organization of Catholic laity formed to lead a movement to restore trust and confidence in the Church in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, today jointly announce their ongoing partnership through the creation of a Joint Implementation Team (JIT).

Parish Listening Sessions

Parish Listening Sessions

As a direct result of the MRT recommendation, Bishop Malone has agreed to a series of listening sessions across the diocese.  The listening sessions will include Bishop Malone praying with the faithful, hearing their thoughts and comments, inviting discussion and offering summary remarks regarding the mission of the diocese and its parishes, schools and other organizations.  The listening sessions are designed for the bishop to hear the concerns of the engaged parishioners and for them to offer recommendations for future initiatives regarding pastoral care, spiritual care and ministry.

Sessions on the following days:

  • Saturday, June 8, 9:30am -11:30am  – St. Gregory the Great Parish Center (Williamsville)
  • Saturday, June 15, 9:30am -11:30am – St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Leo site (Niagara Falls)*
  • Thursday, June 27, 6:30pm – 8:30pm – St. Mark’s Parish (Buffalo)*
  • Saturday, June 29, 9:30am -11:30am – Archbishop Walsh High School (Olean)*
  • Saturday, August 3, 9:30am – 11:30am – Sacred Heart Social Center (Batavia)
  • Saturday, August 10, 9:30am – 11:30am – Nativity of Our Lord (Orchard Park)*
  • Saturday, August 17, 9:30am – 11:30am – Holy Trinity Parish (Dunkirk)

*Please note date change and the addition of the Buffalo and Orchard Park sessions

Priest Convocation 2019

Statement about Priest Convocation 2019 Priests from the Diocese of Buffalo gathered from June 4-6 at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora for their annual Convocation. The theme of this year’s gathering was “Together: Renew, Recommit, Restore – to give you a...

Parish Listening Sessions

As a direct result of the MRT recommendation, Bishop Malone has agreed to a series of listening sessions across the diocese.  The listening sessions will include Bishop Malone praying with the faithful, hearing their thoughts and comments, inviting discussion and...

John Hurley’s Remarks on MTR at St. Thomas More Guild Luncheon

The St. Thomas More Guild of Western New York recognized Canisius President John J. Hurley on Tuesday, May 7 during its annual luncheon at the Buffalo Convention Center. President Hurley received the St. Thomas More Award for his outstanding contributions as a...

Diocese of Buffalo and MRT Announce Reform Initiatives

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), an independent organization of Catholic laity formed to lead a movement to restore trust and confidence in the Church in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, today jointly announce their ongoing partnership through the creation of a Joint Implementation Team (JIT).

Diocese of Buffalo and MRT Announce Reform Initiatives

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), an independent organization of Catholic laity formed to lead a movement to restore trust and confidence in the Church in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, today jointly announce their ongoing partnership through the creation of a Joint Implementation Team (JIT).

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone suggested the creation of the joint implementation team to foster collaboration in the coming months between the Diocese and MRT to prioritize and implement the group’s recommendations for reform.  The group held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

 

  • A commitment by Bishop Malone to hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions.  The Diocese is expected to announce the first two dates and locations by the end of April. The first session could be held as early as May.  The Bishop is committed to holding listening sessions throughout the Diocese over the next several months as a means of hearing directly from Catholics about the sex abuse scandal and other matters concerning the Diocese.
  • New Initiatives in the Handling of Sex Abuse Cases.  Several initiatives will be undertaken by the Diocese:
    • Bishop Malone will continue to meet with victims and also formalize a process for meeting with victims of sexual abuse by reserving regular hours on his schedule for individual meetings with victims.
    • The Diocese will work with MRT representatives to review the Diocese’s approach to releasing the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.  The MRT has suggested a more detailed approach with information that is transparent and appropriately balances the rights and interests of all parties based on best practices gathered from other dioceses in the United States.
    • The Diocese and MRT representatives will review the Diocese’s intake processes for sex abuse claims to insure that victims of sex abuse are treated with dignity and respect and receive proper pastoral care.
    • Bishop Malone will work to establish a new process for allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct that are made against a bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo.  Bishop Malone intends to adopt a process modeled after other dioceses whereby complaints against a Buffalo bishop would automatically be referred to the Metropolitan Archdiocesan Review Board.  This new process would remain in place until the Vatican or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) develops a procedure applicable to all dioceses.
    • Expanding the Diocesan Finance Council.  Bishop Malone has committed to appoint a lay chair of the Diocesan Finance Council (the current chair is the Vicar General of the Diocese, Fr. Peter Karalus) and have laity (particularly women) comprise a majority of the members of the Council.  The expanded Council will be charged with reviewing and improving the current model of financial transparency for the Diocese consistent with best practices.
    • Expanding the Use of the Ethics Reporting Service.  The Diocese will expand the use of its ethics hotline, EthicsPoint, beyond reports of financial fraud or irregularity, to include all reports of any ethical improprieties, sexual abuse or harassment, or financial fraud.

“We are pleased with the progress made over the past month,” said John J. Hurley, president of Canisius College and one of the leaders of the MRT.  “From the start, Bishop Malone has embraced the reform recommendations developed by approximately 150 Catholic lay people who have been working on MRT workgroups since early December. We are working in an active partnership with the Diocese to bring hope and healing to the Church in Buffalo.  We fully recognize that these first steps are not complete solutions, but the process of restoring trust is underway.”

“The work of the JIT, bringing together representatives of the MRT and the Diocese of Buffalo, is an excellent example of Pope Benedict XVI’s call for “co-responsibility” in the church,” stated Bishop Malone. “I am encouraged and energized by the work accomplished by the members of the JIT at their first meeting and pledge to continue to collaborate together.  I accept and embrace their efforts to assist victim-survivors and our Diocese heal.  The dedication and commitment that all the members have for the well-being of our Diocese is inspiring and hope-filled in moving forward to restore trust.  Over the decades since the Second Vatican Council, there have been challenges, especially in recent times, to realize the vision the Council foresaw for the Church.  This is the time to fully embrace healing and also the true vision Vatican II hoped for the Church.”

Members of the JIT include MRT representatives Maureen O. Hurley, Dr. Nancy H. Nielsen and Paul D. Bauer.  Diocesan representatives are Fr. Peter Karalus, Fr. David G. LiPuma, Sr. Regina Murphy and Dennis Mahaney.  Under the team’s charter, developed jointly by the Diocese and MRT, the team is reporting to the Bishop and Mr. Hurley on behalf of the MRT.  

Diocese of Buffalo contact:  Kathy Spangler, 716.847.8717, kspangler@buffalodiocese.org
MRT contact:  Eileen C. Herbert, 716.888.2791, herberte@canisius.edu

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