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Letter: Catholic Church needs to help victims of abuse

Catholic Church needs to help victims of abuse

The latest revelations about past sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Buffalo Diocese are deeply disturbing. The article in the March 21 News has revealed just how many more priests were involved than we, as parishioners, were aware of.

I had hoped the church leaders had learned the lessons of Boston, especially when our current bishop was in the Boston area and saw the destruction that scandal caused. As frequent visitors to the Boston area, we witnessed the empty churches, even on Christmas. We witnessed the distress of devout Catholics as the cover-up of this abuse persisted.

Apparently this was not enough to reform the church’s methods of dealing with this horrid crime. Even as these revelations are being made public, our bishop and prominent church leaders are protesting the passage of the look-back law that would allow victims recourse for past abuse. Our leaders are choosing to protect the church and not the victims.

Perhaps the only way they will change is to be brought to their knees. Our leaders do not need to protect the financial assets of the church; they need to protect their flock. The children who were abused deserve to be heard and compensated. There is no time limit to their pain. They are the church.

We are assured our donations to Catholic Charities and the current major fundraiser, Upon This Rock, will not be used to pay legal claims. Whatever funds are used to pay the claims have come from parishioner donations.

I am a firm believer in the work of Catholic Charities and have already donated. But I am coming to the point of not being able to support my church any further unless the leaders stand up and do the right thing. What would Jesus do?

Suzanne Szustakowski


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