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Letter: Church should defrock Trautman over allegations

Just when it seemed that the Buffalo Catholic Diocese couldn’t have sunken any further into the abyss of corruption and abuse, it has been reported in The Buffalo News that the former Assistant Bishop Donald W. Trautman allegedly expedited an annulment of an abused child’s parents in exchange for keeping quiet about the abuse by the late Gerard A. Smyczynski in the 1980s. Not only was Smyczynski not disciplined, he went on to abuse another child, according to a lawsuit.

As a reward, Trautman was installed as the bishop of Erie, Pa. in 1990. A Pennsylvania grand jury in 2018 sharply rebuked Trautman for allowing Erie priests to continue in ministry after being accused of abuse. He is now criminally culpable in both the Buffalo and Erie Dioceses. I thought Malone was bad. Although now retired, Trautman should be defrocked. I would urge the parishioners of both the Buffalo and Erie dioceses to withhold financial contributions until this takes place.

Robert Peterson


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