The attached is the full statement from Bishop Michael Fisher in response to today’s Buffalo News story on testimony from Bishops Malone and Grosz obtained from the State Attorney General through a Freedom of Information Law request. The diocese was not asked to provide a comment before the story was filed by the News on March 29,2023.
“The Diocese of Buffalo has, from the very beginning, cooperated fully with the Office of the Attorney General in its investigation and throughout the process of resolving their lawsuit filed in November of 2020. We concluded our discussions with the Attorney General and her staff and to arrive at the settlement announced on October 25, 2022. The terms of the settlement confirmed that the rigorous policies and protocols the Diocese has put in place over the past several years are the right ones to ensure that all young people and other vulnerable persons are safe and never at risk of abuse of any kind by a member of the clergy, diocesan employee, volunteer, or member of a religious order serving in the Diocese of Buffalo.
“The Attorney General’s interviews with Bishops Richard Malone and Edward Grosz speak for themselves and offer their own personal accounts about how allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy were handled by themselves and predecessor bishops and other key personnel of the Diocese. The fact that mistakes in judgment and in practice were made is without question. While the details recounted will no doubt be a source of further pain for those who have suffered detestable acts of abuse, it is our hope that the strict policies and protocols that we have implemented and which we will continue to assess and update as appropriate provide some sense of assurance that the crimes they endured cannot be repeated.
“As I have pledged since arriving in Buffalo, it continues to be my highest priority to work toward the healing of those who have been harmed, to plead for their forgiveness, and to do everything in my capacity as bishop to ensure that the failings of the past will only ever remain in the past.”