The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo

December 1, 2020

The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal, welcomes the appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo.

Bishop Fisher steps into a very challenging situation as the Diocese of Buffalo seeks to complete its reorganization in federal bankruptcy court in a manner that will provide some measure of justice to the victims of clergy sexual abuse over many decades. He must lead a process that is both legal and pastoral and create a Church that is focused on healing and reconciliation. Bishop Fisher’s job is complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic that has kept the faithful from their parishes and has exacerbated the financial challenges the diocese faces.

From its founding in October 2018, the MRT has been devoted to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo and helping the Church and the faithful recover from the devastating effects of the clergy sex abuse scandal. We are committed to being a part of the revitalization of parish life in the diocese. We seek to preserve the Church’s essential ministries in our community, ministries aimed at serving the poor and the marginalized among us. The pandemic has curtailed our public work over the past several months, but MRT members have been playing significant roles in the Diocesan Renewal Task Force which has been tasked to reimagine the organization of parishes and schools and the life of the Church.

The MRT congratulates and welcomes Bishop Fisher to Buffalo and pledges to work with him in bringing these goals to fruition. We are greatly encouraged that Bishop Fisher considers himself first and foremost a pastor. May God bless him, and the Holy Spirit guide him in his pastoral responsibilities to the Diocese of Buffalo.

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie?

September 3, 2020

Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of September 28 and October 5.  This is part of a Renewal initiative across the Diocese.

They will be running 8 sessions  each week and need some volunteers who can help them “manage and produce” these Zoom events.

The conversations will take place from 7-8:30 pm Monday through Thursday evenings during those weeks.  Volunteers are needed to help the Diocese set up these Zoom events for up to 100 people and to arrange for potential break out sessions during these events. 

If you are tech savvy and can help please contact Eileen Warner at ewarner@buffalodiocese.org  

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to know

Denver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020

The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.

The guidelines do not publish new norms or policies for parish life, but they do encourage Catholics to think prayerfully about what their parishes are, and what they’re for.

Read the full article for themes and takeaways »

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...

Statement on Buffalo Diocese Bankruptcy

February 28, 2020

“When the magnitude of victims claims against the Diocese of Buffalo under the Child Victims Act became clear several months ago, the Movement to Restore Trust concluded that a bankruptcy filing by the diocese was inevitable,” said John J. Hurley, Movement to Restore Trust Organizing Committee Member.  

“Resolving the claims of victims of sex abuse under the supervision of a federal bankruptcy judge is the only way to insure the prompt, fair and equitable treatment of claimants.  The bankruptcy court will provide a forum in which the legitimate interest of victims in openness and transparency can at last be assured.  We think that it will provide the essential starting point for the reconciliation, healing, and ultimately, reform of the Catholic Church in Buffalo that so many desire.”   

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concerns

John J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.

During the hourlong conversation, Hurley briefed Archbishop Pierre on MRT’s December 7 Symposium at Canisius College and the discernment on the qualities necessary in the next Bishop of Buffalo.  Hurley said that the Nuncio agreed that the qualities identified by the faithful in Buffalo were desirable qualities: transparent, honest, humble, holy, collaborative, servant leader, and willing to make tough decisions.

“He told me to tell the people of Buffalo that he understands our concerns,” Hurley said.  “I told him that the major challenges ahead included the expected filing of a bankruptcy petition by the diocese.  Archbishop Pierre said he was concerned about the decline in revenue in the diocese of Buffalo and the recently reported $5 million loss in the previous fiscal year.  I also told him that it will be essential in the bankruptcy case for the diocese to develop a breakeven operating plan, which means the deficit will have to be addressed.”

Hurley and the archbishop also discussed that many of the priests in the diocese are fearful and demoralized.  “I told the Nuncio that the priests of the diocese need someone who will really listen to them and try to meet their needs, even while the bankruptcy case is pending.  This includes giving them accurate and timely information about the bankruptcy case and what this means for their parishes so that they can assure the faithful.”

The two also agreed that it was essential that the diocese begin to work on revitalizing parish life because there has been so much damage done to the parishes over the past two years.

“We talked about where the Church finds itself – at a missionary moment where we need to be focused on the encounter with Christ,” Hurley said.  “Archbishop Pierre said that the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) provides the vision for the Church.  I told him that I thought that the faithful in Buffalo would be receptive to this message after all we’ve been through.”

Hurley renewed MRT’s commitment to work with the next bishop of Buffalo on this view of the Church. 

“Archbishop Pierre urged us all to pray for the intercession of the Holy Spirit as Pope Francis selects our next bishop,” Hurley said.

The meeting was arranged in response to a letter Hurley sent to the Nuncio informing him of the results of the MRT symposium on Dec. 7.  Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the diocese, was informed of the meeting ahead of time.  Upon his return from Washington, Hurley briefed Bishop Scharfenberger on the meeting.

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...

An Evening with Fr. Jim Martin, SJ

An Evening with Fr. Jim Martin, SJ

Magis Buffalo* presents:
a Conversation with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | via live “ZOOM”
6:00PM Eucharist | Light Refreshments | 7:00-8:00PM Program

“What Would Ignatius Say in These Challenging Times?”

James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor-at-large at America Media, consultor to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, and author of many books including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and My Life with the Saints. His most recent book is Building a Bridge.

PLEASE RSVP BY FEBRUARY 12TH TO SEITZ15@CANISIUS.EDU

The Appointment of New Bishop

Statement of John J. Hurley of the Movement to Restore Trust On the Appointment of Bishop Michael W. Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo December 1, 2020 The Movement to Restore Trust (MRT), a movement of the lay faithful committed to rebuilding the Church of Buffalo...

Diocese Renewal initiative seeking Volunteers

Are You Tech Savvie? September 3, 2020 Our Temporary Administrator for the Diocese, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger is working with Leadership Roundtable and a group of volunteers to hold Zoom conversations with parishioners from all across our Diocese during the weeks of...

Vatican issues new guidelines for parishes:

5 things you need to knowDenver Newsroom, Jul 20, 2020The Congregation for Clergy on Monday published new guidelines for the world’s parishes, which aim to encourage parishes to think of themselves as missionary communities of evangelization.The guidelines do not...

MRT Leader Meets with Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Christophe Pierre tells faithful of Diocese of Buffalo he understands their concernsJohn J. Hurley, member of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT) Organizing Committee, met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, on Jan. 31 at...