Siobhan O’Connor has been called the “whistleblower” who leaked secret records from the Diocese of Buffalo.
60 Minutes says those documents reveal that for years, Bishop Malone allowed priests accused of sexual assault, such as statutory rape and groping, to stay on the job.
On Tuesday, she joined survivors of sexual abuse in Buffalo and shared why she decided she needed to expose this information to the community.
She served for three years as Bishop Richard Malone’s personal secretary. She is deeply religious and once studied to become a Catholic nun.
While working at Malone’s side, she began to see the ugly side of how the Diocese handled sexual abuse.
In March, Malone had agreed to release a list of 42 priests accused of sexually abusing minors, but O’Connor told ’60 Minutes’ there should be more names because she had seen the draft list that circulated between the Bishop and Diocesan lawyers.
She calls revealing that list a “betrayal.”
During the Tuesday conference, O’Connor recalled the moment she said “set off the scandal we are now still embroiled in.”
“I love my church. I love our diocese, and I loved him. I genuinely did, as my bishop and as my boss…The reality of what I saw really left me with no other option because at the end of my life, I’m not going to answer to Bishop Malone, I’m going to answer to God.”
After O’Connor revealed the information, the FBI launched a criminal investigation into the Diocese. The Diocese fired back in statements, claiming the ’60 Minutes’ report is “incomplete, out of context and in some cases, plainly inaccurate.”