August 14 marks another milestone in the effort to bring compassion, healing and justice to victims of sexual abuse in New York State.  One year ago, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury released the results of its investigation into how sex abuse claims were handled in six dioceses within the Commonwealth.  The massive report painted a horrifying picture of a Catholic Church more concerned with its reputational risk than the devastating harm to young people.

The Pennsylvania Report, coupled with the ongoing revelations of sexual abuse in our Diocese of Buffalo, led to the formation of the Movement to Restore Trust (MRT).  MRT is an independent, self-funded 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.

The driving force for our formation was our horror over the suffering of victims of sex abuse and the callous treatment of them.  We wanted to be a catalyst for constructive change within our diocese and the Church at large.  It was and remains our hope that our actions might help heal the wounds suffered by our brothers and sisters, and reform the Church in such a way that this evil could never happen again.

With the reopening of the statute of limitations for sex abuse claims in New York, victims of sex abuse at the hands of clergy and Church personnel are provided with a new opportunity to pursue claims in a court of law.  We support them in their quest for justice and we remain in solidarity with all victims of sex abuse.

While claims are being resolved in the courts or through other avenues, the Movement to Restore Trust will continue to work on bringing about organizational and cultural change within the Diocese of Buffalo that will result in a greater role for the laity in the Church, increased accountability for bishops, and more transparency.  Our work has begun, but much remains to be done.  

The Organizing Committee of the Movement to Restore Trust

Paul D. Bauer
Thomas R. Beecher, Jr.
Robert M. Greene
John J. Hurley
Maureen O. Hurley
Carl J. Montante
Mary T. Murphy
Nancy H. Nielsen
Nancy W. Ware

August 13, 2019

Kevin Keenan
Keenan Communications Group

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