This past weekend I spoke of the need to raise our voices to effect the necessary changes in our diocese. For those who may not have been at Mass this weekend I share my words with all of you….
My Sisters and Brothers,
First of all, thank you for being here and for continuing to be here. Your presence here at our weekend Masses is a sign of hope for the future of the church. You may find it difficult to come to church, you may even think: “What difference does it make, if I go to church?” But it does make a difference, for the church and hopefully for you.
The events of the past few weeks have intensified the crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo to the boiling point. Just when it seems that things can’t get any worse, they do.
Every day we hear from people whose faith is shaken. Who are angry, who are scandalized, who are frustrated. Many say that they are considering leaving the church, or that they have decided that they can no longer be part of church that is seems to be coming apart at the seams.
We can look back over history and say that yes in the past there have been major crises in the church. But this is our time, and this is our crisis and it is gut wrenching. What can be done? How can we respond?
We can respond by taking ownership and responsibility for the church. Through our Baptism, each one of us is given a call, a mandate to live the gospel. We do that through our individual lives, but we also do it through our life together in faith and we call that the church. By your baptism you have as much responsibility for the church as the bishop does, or as any priest does. Take hold of that responsibility. Make your voice heard.
Some are asking every pastor to speak out on behalf of their parish telling the bishop that he should resign. I do not feel it is my right or my prerogative to speak for you.
There are some in our parish who want the bishop to resign, and there are others who think he should stay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, to their viewpoint. And everyone has a right to be heard.
Use your voice.
I spoke out last October at a public meeting of the priests, where I told the bishop that I thought for the good of the diocese he should resign. And this week I am circulating a letter of No Confidence to my brother priests, deacons and parishioners in all of the parishes throughout the diocese, adding my name to a letter asking him again to resign. But that is my opinion and my voice.
You may or may not agree with me. You have a right to your own opinion and to your voice. Speak up. Demand answers. Call for accountability. You are the church. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Listed below is the direct contact information for Bishop Malone, Cardinal Dolan, and the Papal Nuncio in Washington. Let them know what you feel in your heart should be done for the Diocese of Buffalo. Through your baptism you are a priest, a prophet, a voice of the church, and your words and actions can and will make a difference
May God bless us and Mary, Mother of the Church watch over us now and forever…………..+JMJ…………………..Fr. Bob!!!!
Direct Contact Information:
Bishop Richard J. Malone
The Catholic Center
795 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Cardinal Timothy Dolan
1011 First Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008