Prayer | Healing | Hope
The Diocese of Buffalo is committed to bring healing to victim-survivors and strengthen the faith of the people of Western New York
A Letter from Bishop Fisher
Sincerely in Christ,
It is our pledge – and the requirement of our Catholic Faith – to create safe and healthy environments for our young people, as well as adults in our parishes, schools, hospitals and wherever the ministries of this local Church are carried out across Western New York.
Creating a Safe Environment
The following are policies, procedures and related information on the promotion and protection of the rights and dignity of all people in the Diocese of Buffalo:
Code of Conduct for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff and Volunteers.
Diocesan Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults. Updated March 2021
Protecting God’s Children: The Office of Safe Environment
2021 Letter of Compliance for the Diocese of Buffalo.
Allegations of sexual abuse of a minor will always be properly reported to local authorities.
The Diocese will not transfer any priest or deacon who has committed an act of child or vulnerable adult abuse to a new assignment within the Diocese or to another diocese/eparchy or religious province.
All priests, deacons, employees and volunteers who are around children are trained through VIRTUS
Employees and volunteers must undergo a background check prior to employment or volunteering with minors.
The Diocese will reach out to all victims of abuse and make itself available to their families – whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years ago – to promote their spiritual and emotional well-being, their healing, and their reconciliation.
The Diocese will undergo an audit annually to ensure compliance with USCCB and diocesan Safe Environment mandates.
For the complete Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Children, Young People, and Vulnerable Adults please go to “Creating a Safe Environment” tab.
The Diocese of Buffalo continues the call for victims to come forward and report their abuse so that the healing process can begin. Several outlets have been established, allowing victims to reach out to the proper authority:
Call your local law enforcement agency/911, your county’s District Attorney, or the New York Statewide Central Register (Child Abuse Hotline) at 1-800-342-3720.
Contact the Victims Assistance Coordinator (VAC), Jacqueline Joy at (716)-895-3010 or Jacqueline.email@example.com if reporting sexual abuse/misconduct from the past or present. The VAC is available to assist you.
Contact EthicsPoint to confidentially report abuse and/or misconduct by filing a report through their website or call 1-(844)-573-4177. Additional information about EthicsPoint can be found here.
To report sexual misconduct by a bishop or eparch, contact the national reporting website or reporting hotline. Make a report online at www.ReportBishopAbuse.org or call 1-(800)-276-1562
Priests placed on Administrative Leave
Office of Safe Environment
Priests with Substantiated Claims of Abuse
Policy & Procedures for the Protection of Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults
File a Report
COMMITMENT & SAFEGUARDS
Our Track Record
cleric, educators, employees and volunteers have received training to recognize and report abuse and neglect.
children were trained to keep themselves safe in Catholic Schools and Religious Education
There have been
Diocesan priests ordained since 1989 who have received substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
Since the Dallas Charter was written in 2002, the Diocese of Buffalo has implemented its guidelines in 2003 and taken action in the following matters:
- Creating a safe environment for children and young people.
- Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors.
- Making prompt and effective response to allegations.
- Cooperating with civil authorities.
- Disciplining offenders.
- Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
- Background checks for employees and volunteers of the Diocese.
- The Diocesan Safe Environment Program was created and staffed to fulfill the requirements of the Charter.
- Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) was established for those who have made claims that they were sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo. Individuals who have previously made claims were invited to participate in this voluntary program.
- Constant evaluation and updating of procedures.
- Annual instructions for minors in parishes for their protection and safe environment.
- On-going training for all adults (ordained and lay) through VIRTUS.