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.

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