Buffalo, N.Y., Nov 5, 2018 / 14:42 pm
The former Diocese of Buffalo employee who leaked internal diocesan documents to the press wrote in an op-ed Sunday that she shared the documents “out of love for the survivors, my diocese, my community and my Church.”
“What I was witnessing boggled my mind, broke my heart and burdened my soul. My conscience felt as though it were in a vise that was tightening at an alarming rate,” Siobhan O’Connor wrote Nov. 4th in the Buffalo News.
O’Connor wrote that while she was executive assistant to Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone, she would often field calls from survivors of sexual abuse.
“After hearing survivors’ accounts of the abuse they suffered and the trauma they are still enduring, I was overcome with the desire to assist them with more than a sympathetic ear and the promise of prayer.”
Some of the documents O’Connor leaked suggest that Malone worked with diocesan lawyers to avoid releasing publicly the names of some diocesan priests accused of misconduct.
Ultimately the diocese culled down a list of over one hundred clergy accused of “criminal, abusive or inappropriate behavior” to a final, publicly released list of just 42, the documents show.
O’Connor wrote that she was approached in late July by local reporter Charlie Specht from WKBW Channel 7. The local news station published an exhaustive investigative report Aug. 22-23, citing documents leaked by O’Connor indicating that Malone allowed priests to stay in ministry, despite multiple allegations against them.
O’Connor revealed her identity in the week leading up to her Oct. 28 interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” She said in her op-ed that she loved working for the diocese, and previously held the bishop “in the highest esteem,” as emails released by the diocese Oct. 30 showed.
“As I have stated publicly, I bear no ill will toward Bishop Malone...Indeed, I still care about him and pray for him with a sincere heart,” she wrote.