Priests with Substantiated Claims of Sexual Abuse of a Minor (2018 Diocese of Buffalo lists):
John R. Aurelio (d. 2009) - Aurelio was suspended in 2003 after admitting to sexually abusing multiple children with Fr. Bernard M. Mach . During his tenure as a priest, Aurelio worked at Cardinal Mindszenty High School (1968), St. Leo in Amherst (1969), West Seneca State School (1970-75), St. Catherine of Siena in West Seneca (1976-81), the West Seneca Development Center (1982-86), St. John the Evangelist in Buffalo (1987-90), and Christ the King Seminary (1991-93).
Benedict P. Barszcz - In 1999, Fr. Benedict Barszcz, a priest from the Pallotine religious order, was removed from ministry after police charged him with exposure after they said the priest masturbated in front two teenage girls on the East Side of Buffalo, according to reporting by WKBW and The Buffalo News. He was a priest at St. Peter Catholic Church in Lewiston.
Donald W. Becker - Becker was forced out of service and put on “medical leave” in 2002 after allegations of child sexual abuse came to light, a 7 Eyewitness News investigation revealed in March. Becker denied the allegations but has since been accused by other men who say he abused them at a cabin in Java. He served at St. Bonaventure in West Seneca (1971-74), SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg (1975-79), Nativity in Orchard Park (1980-82), St. Agatha’s in South Buffalo (1985-90) and St. Mary’s in Batavia (1992-2002).
Ron Becker (d. 2009) - Seminarian from Toronto.
David M. Bialkowski - Bialkowski was placed on leave in 2011 after a former alter boy said the priest had inappropriately touched him on this upper thigh and made suggestive statements to him a decade earlier. Bialkowski was serving as a priest at St. John Gualbert at the time, a post he held from 1996 to 2003. After the initial allegation surfaced, two other individuals came forward and said that Bialkowski acted inappropriately toward them as children.
Robert J. Biesinger - In 2003, 36-year-old Colleen Ptak filed a lawsuit saying that Biesigner sexually abused her while she was a part of the color guard and drill team at Baker-Victory High School in Lackawanna. Biesinger was the coach of the drill team and Ptak was 15 years old during the alleged abuse.
Beisinger served at Immaculate Conception in East Bethany (1957), SS. Peter & Paul in Williamsville (1958-67), St. Mary in Lockport (1968), Baker-Victory High School in Lackawanna (1969-1975), Holy Family in Machias (1976-86), Immaculate Heart of Mary in Buffalo (1987) and St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Cheektowaga (1988-1994). He was listed as "absent on leave" from 1995-2001 and retired in 2002. He died in 2012.
James Burson - A Eudist priest who was the former librarian of Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo, he is accused of molesting Kevin Koscielniak, according to The Buffalo News . He is now a priest in California.
Robert P. Conlin (d. 1997) - A Genesee County man, Wayne Bortle, in 2018 accused Conlin of sexually abusing him at St. Mary's in Pavilion, 7 Eyewitness News and The Buffalo News reported. Conlin was pastor of St. Mary from 1978-1997, The News reported, adding that he also served at Our Lady of Loretto and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, both in Buffalo, and St. Joseph Church in Albion. Bortle said Conlin molested him in the rectory of St. Mary Church three decades ago, when the boy was 16. Conlin died in 1997.
Paul R. Coppola (d. 2006) - Taught at Bishop Turner High School.
James H. Cotter (d. 1991) - In 2007, The Buffalo News reported that Cotter was named in a 2003 lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The lawsuit alleged that the diocese knew Cotter was an abuser and knowingly transferred him to San Diego where he was accused of molesting a 7-year-old boy in the late 1980s. Before moving to California, Cotter worked as a priest as St. Mary's in Little Valley, N.Y. (1951), St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Cheektowaga (1952-55), Most Precious Blood in Angola (1956-58), St. Cecilia in Oakland, N.Y. (1959-65), and Our Lady of Lourdes in Bemus Point (1966-78).
Donald S. Fafinski - Fafinski worked with children for several years teaching at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk and was a principal there until the school closed in 1979. He also taught at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean. In March, The Buffalo News reported that one of Fafinski's alleged victims said Fafinski abused him in the 1970s when he was a student at Archbishop Walsh. The man, Steve Lilly-Weber, told The News that he reported the abuse in 1994 and received a $24,000 settlement from the diocese in 1996. Fafinski is retired.
Douglas F. Faraci - The diocese assigned Faraci to St. Elizabeth's in Cherry Creek (1970), St. Anthony in Batavia (1971-72), St. Joseph in Lockport (1973), St. Joseph in Niagara Falls (1974-75), Buffalo General Hospital (1981-2002), and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (1990-2003). Faraci retired in 2004, and as of 2016, he was believed to be residing in Tonawanda.
Fred G. Fingerle (d. 2002) - After his 1963 ordination, the diocese assigned Fingerle to St. John of the Cross in Whitesville (1964), St. Timothy in Tonawanda (1965-67), Most Precious Blood in Angola (1968-69), All Saints in Buffalo (1970-71), Most Precious Blood in Angola (1972-77), St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo (1978), St. Mary of the Lake in Hamburg (1979-83), St. John of the Cross in Whitesville (1984-2002) and Blessed Sacrament in Andover (1990-2002). Fingerle died in 2002.
Michael R. Freeman (d. 2010) - Freeman is alleged to have aimed a gun at a boy's head while molesting him, The Buffalo News reported . The diocese assigned Freeman to St. Margaret (1973-75) and St. Lawrence (1976) in Buffalo, Sacred Heart in Niagara Falls (1977-80), St. Christopher in Tonawanda (1983-84), Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1985-87) and St. Mary of the Assumption (1988-89) in Lancaster. In 1982, he was listed as a military chaplain in Ft. Benning, Ga. He died in 2010.
In August 2018, Freeman was cited in a Pennsylvania grand jury report describing widespread sexual abuse by priests in that state. The jurors found that Freeman "was moved from Buffalo churches to parishes in Pennsylvania even after the Buffalo Diocese learned in 1981 that he had been involved in 'criminal behavior' and 'admitted inappropriate sexual behavior' with young men and children during five assignments in the Buffalo area," The Buffalo News reported. The Pennsylvania attorney general found no evidence that church leaders in Buffalo or Pennsylvania ever alerted law enforcement about Freeman.
Joseph P. Friel (d. 1995) - A 1994 civil lawsuit alleged that Friel abused a teenage boy in the late 1960s. 7 Eyewitness News interviewed one of his victims in 1993, who said the abuse occurred at Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca (where he was assigned from 1967-1970). He died in 1995.
Mark M. Friel - The diocese assigned Friel to St. Mary’s in East Arcade (1964), Assumption in Lackawanna (1965-72), St. John Vianney in Orchard Park (1973), Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1974) and Our Lady Church (1975-77) in Lancaster, Infant of Prague in Cheektowaga (1978-81) and SS. Peter & Paul in Jamestown (1982-86).
Friel was “awaiting assignment” in 1987 before the diocese assigned him to St. Mary of the Cataract (in residence) in Niagara Falls (1988-2003), where from 1990 to 2003 he was also the chaplain of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Dennis Fronczak - In June 2017, sexual abuse allegations against Fronczak surfaced in two Buffalo News articles that sought to answer the question of why Fronczak was suddenly removed from Our Lady of Pompeii parish in Lancaster in 2015. Bishop Richard Malone acknowledged an investigation that had been forwarded to Rome "about past actions on his part." Kristen Lovullo told The News that Fronczak repeatedly fondled her when she was between ages 9 and 12 at St. Stephen School on Grand Island in the 1990s. Fronczak "also was the subject of a complaint lodged in 2003 with the Diocese of Buffalo, when he was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Holland," The News reported.
Gerald Leo Green (d. 2012) - Diocesan priest.
Thomas G. Gresock - The diocese assigned Gresock worked at St. James in Depew (1986-88) and St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga (1989-93) before he was listed as “absent on leave” from 1994-2006. It’s unclear where he resided in 2007-08. He retired in 2009 and is believed to be living in North Tonawanda.
John P. Hajduk - On March 20, 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo included Hajduk on its list of priests who "were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor." The diocese did not disclose when or where the abuse was alleged to have taken place, or how many victims have come forward. The diocese assigned him to Blessed Trinity in Buffalo (1977), Most Precious Blood in Angola (1978-82) and Holy Family in Buffalo (1983-90). He was listed as “awaiting assignment” in 1991 before the diocese sent him to St. Mary in Cattaraugus, St. Isidore in Otto and St. Mary in Valley (1992-94). He was listed as “absent on leave” in 1995-96 and it is unclear where he has resided since 1997.
Michael J. Harrington (d. 1989) - 7 Eyewitness News has spoken with two men who said Harrington abused them when they were boys. After his ordination in 1942, Harrington was assigned to churches in Florida in 1943 before the diocese assigned him to Our Lady of the Rosary in Niagara Falls (1944-49). Then the diocese assigned Harrington to the following churches in Buffalo: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (1950), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (1951), St. Francis Xavier (1952-54), St. Thomas Aquinas (1955-59), St. Margaret (1960) and Immaculate Conception (1961-88). He retired and died in 1989.
Brian M. Hatrick - Hatrick worked at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Depew (1980-83) and Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca (1984-86) before he was listed as "awaiting assignment" in 1987. He was then assigned to St. Vincent in North Evans (1988-2007) before retiring in 2008.
James P. Hayes (d. 1988) - He worked at Ascension in North Tonawanda (1949-53) before his listing as "absent on sick leave" in 1954 (St. Francis Hospital, Miami Beach) and 1955 (Kenmore Mercy Hospital). The diocese re-assigned him to Ascension in North Tonawanda (1956-66), Our Lady of Victory in Frewsburg (1967-70) and All Saints in Buffalo (1971-88). He died in 1988.
Louis J. Hendricks (d. 1990) - He worked at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Buffalo (1965-74), St. Aloysius in Cheektowaga (1975-76) and St. Martin in Buffalo (1977-83). The Buffalo News reported that a former altar boy named Timothy Clark alleged Hendricks repeatedly abused him when he was a teenager growing up in South Buffalo back in the 1980s. Later, he was assigned to St. Patrick in Randolph (1984-90), remaining there until he died in 1990.
J. Grant Higgins (d. 2016) - Higgins was ordained a Josephite Order priest in 1956 and was assigned to churches in New Orleans, La., and Baltimore, Md., before he was incardinated into the Diocese of Buffalo in 1975. The diocese assigned him as chaplain of Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo (1976), St. Albert the Great in North Tonawanda (1977) and the State Hospital/Psychiatric Center in Gowanda (1978-82). His assignment in 1983 is unknown, but the diocese assigned him to Most Precious Blood in Angola (1984-97). His assignment in 1988 is also unknown. He retired in 1999 and died in 2016.
Francis T. Hogan (d. 2010) - He worked at Immaculate Conception in Cassadaga (1947), St. John's in Jamestown (1948-49), Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo (1950), Immaculate Conception in Wellsville (1951-54), SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg (1955-56), Blessed Trinity (1957-63) and St. Ambrose (1964-65) in Buffalo, St. Mary in Little Valley (1966-70) and St. Patrick in Salamanca (1971-81). He was listed as "absent on leave" in 1982, on "sick leave" in 1983-84 and retired to Melbourne, Fla., in 1985. He died in 2010.
Stanley Idziak - in 1992, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported Idziak turned in his collar after Bill and Rick Larango accused him of molesting them when they were children. According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the Lorangos had befriended Idziak while he was serving as a Pallotine priest in North Tonawanda. Idziak followed the family after they moved to the Atlanta area, even leaving his religious order and applying to join the Archdiocese of Atlanta, The Buffalo News reported in March.
Fred D. Ingalls - Ingalls was placed on leave and sent to an out-of-state treatment facility in February 2004 after he was criminally charged with receiving child pornography and storing it on a computer in a rectory. He was working as a Diocesan Judge at St. Cecilia in Strykersville and St. Joseph in Varysburg at the time of his arrest. In June 2004, he was sentenced to three years in federal prison. Throughout his career, he served at St. Joseph in Batavia (1975-82 and 1991-96), St. Joseph in Niagara Falls (1983-88), St. Margaret in Buffalo (1989-90) and St. John the Baptist in Alden (1997-2003). He was listed as retired (mail forwarded to diocesan headquarters) from 2005 to 2013, and his whereabouts from 2014 to the present are unknown.
Florian A. Jasinski (d. 1983) - Jasinski worked at St. Helen in Hinsdale (1958), St. Patrick in Lockport (1959-62), St. Josaphat in Cheektowaga (1963-71), Transfiguration in Buffalo (1972-74), St. Stanislaus Kostka in Perry (1975-81) and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Niagara Falls (1982-83). He died in 1983.
Gerald C. Jasinski - In 1986, Jasinski was arrested on felony charges of sodomy, sexual abuse, and unlawful dealings with a child in Wyoming County. He was accused of having sexual contact with two boys, aged 15 and 18, according to The Buffalo News . Jasinski pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to five years probation, The News reported. Jasinski served at St. John the Evangelist in Sinclairville (1969), The Visitation (1970), St. Casimir (1971), Queen of Peace (1972-75) and St. Stanislaus (1976-77) in Buffalo, St. James in Depew (1978-82) and Assumption in Lancaster (1983-86). He was listed as "absent on leave" in 1987.
Richard P. Judd (d. 1988) - Judd was ordained as a member of the Servants of the Holy Paraclete and worked for the order for several years in New Mexico and Arizona. The Anderson & Associates law firm has stated that Fr. Judd also worked at St. Pius X, St. Cyril of Alexandria and Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Ariz., in the 1970s.
In 1974, Judd moved to the Diocese of Buffalo and began working at St. Teresa (1976) and Nativity (1977-83) in Buffalo and St. Mary Manor in Niagara Falls (1984-88). He died in 1988. In 2003, the Associated Press reported the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz. had added Judd to a public list of clerics who had "credible accusations" of child molestation against them.
Paul Keeling - Barnabite priest.
Timothy J. Kelley - In 2003, an unidentified man filed a lawsuit accusing Kelley of abusing him when he was a 13-year-old student at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Dunkirk. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Kelley brought the boy on vacation to Florida in August 1983, and that's where the alleged abuse occurred. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2004, but Kelly resigned after a second man came forward saying he was also abused during Kelley's tenure in Western New York. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Kelley transferred to the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 1983 before resigning to take a job outside of the diocese in 1986. Kelley rejoined the Catholic ministry in 2002 after passing a criminal background check.
Thomas L. Kemp - He worked at St. Mary's in Wilmington, N.C. (1953), St. Agnes in Buffalo (1954-55), Holy Name of Jesus in Buffalo (1956-59), Bishop Turner High School in Buffalo (1960), St. Francis in Tonawanda (1961-65), Most Holy Redeemer in Cheektowaga (1966), St. Bonaventure in West Seneca (1967-68), St. Agatha (1969) and St. Joseph (1970) in Buffalo, Our Lady of Victory in Frewsburg (1971-76), St. Mary in Holley (1977-80), St. Mary in Silver Springs, Wyoming County (1981-91) and Immaculate Conception in East Bethany (1992-2004). He retired in 2005. and is believed to be living in Genesee County, according to the Anderson & Associates law firm.
Richard J. Keppeler (d. 2011) - In April 2018, a victim named Charlie Pero told WGRZ-TV that Keppeler sexually abused him while he was Dean of Boys at Notre Dame High School in Batavia. During his career, he served at SS. Peter & Paul in South Boston, Mass. (1955), St. Brendan in Almond (1956), All Saints in Buffalo (1957), Annunciation in Buffalo (1958-61), Notre Dame High School in Batavia (1962-73), St. Brigid in Bergen (1974-2003) and St. Michael in South Byron (2000-03). He retired in 2004 and died in 2011.
Theodore Kocian - Pallotine priest.
Michael Kolodziej - Kolodziej was originally ordained as a Buffalo diocesan priest and taught at Bishop Turner High School before joining the order of Conventual Franciscans in 1974. He then taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and he was a principal at Cardinal O'Hara in the 1970s and 1980s, The Buffalo News reported. He also taught at schools in Massachusetts and Maryland. In 2013, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and his religious order removed him from ministry after a former student in Baltimore said the priest molested him in the 1970s.
Linus E. Kopczewski - Franciscan priest who now appears to be working in Wisconsin.
John D. Lewandowski (d. 1982) - After his 1954 ordination, Lewandowski's assignments from 1955-60 are unknown. He was then assigned to St. Joseph in Bliss (1961), SS. Peter & Paul in Bliss (1962-63), Assumption in Buffalo (1964-65), Notre Dame Du Lac Retreat House in Bemus Point (1966), Our Mother of Good Counsel in Blasdell (1967), "absent on leave" from 1968-70, "absent on sick leave" from 1971-72 and unknown from 1973-82. He died in 1982.
Bernard M. Mach (d. 2004) - Mach was placed on leave in December 1993 in the wake of an allegation of child sexual abuse. Fr. Mach and Fr. John Aurelio allegedly sexually abused multiple children together . After being placed on leave, Fr. Mach reportedly retired and lived in Florida. During his career as a priest, his assignments included St. Mary's in East Arcade (1965), Holy Cross in Buffalo (1966), St. Vincent in North Evans (1967-68), St. Gerard in Buffalo (1969-77), St. John Vianney in Orchard Park (1978-79), St. Vincent in Buffalo (1980), Sacred Heart in Niagara Falls (1981), Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo (1982-90), St. Catherine of Siena in West Seneca (1990), St. Mary in Lockport (1991-93), "Absent on leave" in 1994.
Louis Mako - Diocesan priest.
Thomas R. Marshall - Marshall, a member of the Paulist religious order, was accused of child sexual abuse and charged criminally in California, where allegations against him became public in the 2003 civil proceedings against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 7 Eyewitness News spoke with a Buffalo man who said Marshall attempted to ejaculate on him at St. Teresa's Church in South Buffalo in the 1960s or 1970s. The man provided 7 Eyewitness News with documentation from the Paulist organization in Toronto, Ont., acknowledging the alleged abuse. Marshall is believed to be living in Toronto.
Loville N. Martlock (d. 2014) - Martlock was placed on medical leave and sent to an out-of state treatment facility in 1994 after an allegation of child sexual abuse, according to the Anderson & Associates law firm. On March 20, 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo included Martlock on its list of priests who "were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor." He served at St. John in Sinclairville (1964), Infant of Prague in Cheektowaga (1965-66), Holy Family in Buffalo (1967), St. Christopher in Tonawanda (1968-72), Fourteen Holy Helpers in West Seneca (1973-77), Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk (1978-79), St. John de La Salle in Niagara Falls (1980-81), St. Elizabeth in Cherry Creek (1982-83), St. Mary's High School in Lancaster (1984-86), Sacred Heart in Bowmansville (1987-88), On duty outside the diocese (Brazil) in 1989-90, Maryknoll Foreign Missions (1991), St. Benedict the Moor in Buffalo (1992), Notre Dame High School in Batavia and Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bennington Center (1993). His location was unknown in 1994 and he was listed as "absent on leave" in 1995. He retired to the Our Lady of Good Counsel Rectory from 1996-98, to Jemez Springs, N.M. from 1999-2013 and to the Bishop Head Residence in Lackawanna in 2014, according to the Anderson & Associates law firm.
Fabian Maryanski - Maryanski was assigned to work in parishes for more than a decade after a teenage girl, Stephanie McIntyre, said the priest had sex with her in a church rectory, The Buffalo News reported in May 2018. The newspaper cited a 1995 letter sent by her lawyer to the diocese describing sexual advances when she was a 15-year-old parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Barker. Maryanski said McIntyre was over the age of 18 when he had sexual contact with her. The priest was suspended from saying Mass at Nativity Church in Clarence after the article was published. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. in June revealed that he had been investigating Maryanski for "creepy" behavior with a young girl in January 2018, but said the behavior was not criminal. He urged the diocese to prevent Maryanski from being around children. Maryanski has at different times admitted and denied details about the allegations from McIntyre. The diocese initially withheld Maryanski from its list of abusive priests, as documented in a 7 Eyewitness News investigative report .
Rene Maynard - A Franciscan priest.
Thomas J. McCarthy - He worked at Christ the King in Snyder (1981-84), OLV Basilica in Lackawanna (1985-90), "Unknown" in 1991, St. John the Baptist in Kenmore (1992-98), All Saints in Buffalo (1999-2000) and St. John the Baptist in West Valley (2001-03). He retired in 2004 and is believed to be living in West Seneca, according to the Anderson & Associates law firm.
Francis McKenna (d. 1997) - Diocesan priest.
Robert Moss - A West Seneca woman in May 2018 told WIVB-TV that Moss kissed her and exposed himself to her in the 1990s, while he was a chaplain in the Army National Guard and a priest at Queen of Heaven in West Seneca. 7 Eyewitness News also spoke with the woman and another woman who said Moss sexually attacked her when she went to him for counseling. After Queen of Heaven, he was assigned to a Catholic Church in Sloan. Moss died in 2018.
Loren Nys - The priest, a member of the Salvatorian religious order, taught at St. Mary in Lancaster in the 1970s. Robert Swierat in 2018 told The Buffalo News the priest molested him in a shower near the school. Nys was removed as pastor from a Wisconsin church in 2014 after parents accused him of "inappropriate conduct with youth" decades earlier, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported .
Basil A. Ormsby (d. 1997) - The longtime pastor of St. Teresa's Church in South Buffalo (1958-87), multiple victims have accused him of sexual abuse. Previously, he served in Mayville (1943), St. Teresa in Niagara Falls (1944-46), St. Aloysius Gonzaga in Cheektowaga (1947-49), Our Lady of Help of Christians in Cheektowaga (1950), St. Vincent de Paul in Buffalo (1951), Our Lady of the Rosary in Niagara Falls (1952) and Blessed Trinity in Buffalo (1953-56), Ascension in North Tonawanda (1957). He retired in 1988 and was listed "in residence" at Nativity in Orchard Park until 1995. He died in 1997.
Norbert F. Orsolits - On Feb. 27, 2018, South Buffalo man Michael Whalen held a press conference across from the Catholic Center to say Orsolits sexually abused him in the 1980s at St. John Vianney Church in Orchard Park. The allegation set off the 2018 sexual abuse crisis, led Orsolits to confess to a Buffalo News reported that he abused "dozens" of boys and pushed the diocese to release its list of 42 priests who "were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor." Orsolits was sent to Southdown Institute in Canada -- a church-run "treatment facility" for troubled priests -- for treatment following an allegation of child sexual abuse. Fr. Orsolits is believed to have taught at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean from approximately 1984 to 1988, according to the law firm Anderson & Associates. The diocese assigned Orsolits to St. Joseph in Bliss (1966), St. John the Baptist in Alden (1967), St. John the Evangelist (1968) and St. John Kanty (1969-70) in Buffalo, St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga (1971-73), Our Lady of Czestochowa in Cheektowaga (1974), St. James in Depew (1975-77), St. James in Buffalo (1978), "Awaiting assignment" in 1979, St. John Vianney in Orchard Park in 1980-81, St. Mary of the Angels in Olean (1982-83), Sacred Heart in Portville (1984-88), "Absent on leave" in 1989 and St. Lawrence in Buffalo (1990). From 1991-2003, he was at various times chaplain of Buffalo General Hospital, chaplain at Deaconness Hospital and "in residence" at St. Lawrence Church. The diocese removed him from ministry in 2003.
Martin L. Pavlock - He worked at St. John in Sinclairville (1967), SS. Peter & Paul in Jamestown (1968-70 and 1974-76), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Depew (1971-73), Assumption in Lancaster (1977), Mother of Divine Grace (1978), St. Barnabas in Depew (1979-83), St. Elizabeth in Cherry Creek (1984-85), "Awaiting assignment" in 1986, St. Gregory the Great and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst (1987-92), Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga (1993-2000), Holy Trinity in Dunkirk (2001-02) and "Absent on leave" in 2003. He retired on Sept. 1, 2003 -- the same day as three other priests who would go on to be accused of sexual misconduct.
Ted Podson - Podson, a member of the Piarist religious order, served as a teacher at Calasanctius High School (now defunct) in Buffalo from 1977-85, Diocese of Buffalo priest directories show. The Piarist Fathers owned the Graycliff estate in Derby after its original owners, the Martin family, sold the property. Records show Fr. Podson taught at Calasanctius Prep in #Buffalo , a now-defunct private school near Delaware Park, from 1977-1985. Podson was removed from ministry in 2012 after a series of articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer traced his path from Buffalo, where one woman questioned his conduct at Calasanctius, to Philadelphia, where he was accused of sexually abusing a boy on a class trip, to the Philippines, where he was removed from ministry .
Michael Raimondo - Died in Italy.
Joseph Rappl - A former altar boy at St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Lewiston came forward April 5 , alleging he was sexually abused by Rappl in the 1980s after the priest heard his confession. Rappl, now married and living in North Carolina, is no longer a diocesan priest but until recently remained a camp counselor at Camp Turner, the diocesan youth camp in the Southern Tier. After the I-Team reported Rappl's involvement in Camp Turner, the diocese on April 6 removed him from the camp. He served at St. Peter in Lewiston (1979-82), St. Catherine of Siena in West Seneca (1983-85), St. Mary's in Holley (1986-89) and as a military chaplain from 1990-1999.
Roy K. Ronald (d. 2013) - Ronald worked at St. Frances Cabrini in Collins Center (1962), St. Mary of the Angels in Olean (1963-79), St. Mary in Belmont (1980-91), St. Mary in East Arcade and SS. Peter & Paul in Arcade (1992-95), "Absent on leave" in 1996-97 and retired in 1998. Ronald was involved in youth programs during his time at St. Mary, including the Boy Scouts of America and Rutherford B. Hayes Young Adult Club. He died in 2013.
Maurice Scheier - Scheier spent most of his career at St. Bonaventure University. The allegations relate to an accusation in California, and St. Bonaventure has said there is reason to believe Scheier may have been misidentified. He is deceased.
Joseph E. Schieder (d. 1996) - In 2019, The Buffalo News reported that "at least five men have complained to the diocese that Schieder abused them when they were minors, and the alleged abuses spanned several decades." The News said Schieder "advised Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy on youth issues" and "in the 1950s and '60s, he was arguably Buffalo's most renowned Catholic priest."
He worked at Sacred Heart (1937) and Holy Cross (1938-41) in Buffalo, Immaculate Conception in Buffalo (1944), St. Mary's Infant Asylum and Maternity Hospital in Buffalo (1945-46), Mt. St. Mary in Kenmore (1947-48), National Youth Director and other national youth work in Washington, D.C., (1949-61), Mary Mount College in Arlington, Va., (1962-63), St. Andrew in Kenmore (1964-76), Awaiting assignment in 1977, Diocesan consultor and procurator of diocesan properties at the Chancery in Buffalo (1978), Unknown in 1979-82, "Special assignment" in 1983, retired in 1984. He died in 1996.
Joseph A. Schuster - Niagara County resident Mark V. Lynch came forward on Good Friday in 2018 to say he was abused by Schuster in 1968 when he was 13 at Mount Carmel Church in Niagara Falls. Schuster retired from the priesthood in the 1990s and died in 2007.
Gerald P. Sheehan (d. 2006) - Sheehan is accused of sexually abusing a young girl. The allegation was reported to the diocese by a woman who said she was between 7 and 14 years old and a member of Nativity of Our Lord Church in Orchard Park when she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the priest in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sheehan died in 2006. She said Sheehan abused her an estimated 200 times at her home, at the church rectory and at various cottages. Sheehan worked at St. Brendan in Almond (1965), St. Martin of Tours in South Buffalo (1966-73) and Prince of Peace in Niagara Falls (1974-75) before he was listed as “On leave” with a South Buffalo address in 1976. From 1977-82, he was then assigned to Nativity, where the abuse of the girl is alleged to have occurred, before he was transferred to St. John Bosco in Sheridan.
Ronald T. Silverio - In July 2018, Buffalo man P.A. Kane, in a first-person essay published in The Public newspaper, said Silverio molested him and his brothers in the 1970s while Silverio was a priest at Holy Family Church in South Buffalo. Kane also spoke to 7 Eyewitness News about the abuse allegations and church records show Kane was assigned to Holy Family from 1972-74. Silverio was ordained in 1970 but his location in 1971 is unknown, as he is not listed in church directories. 7 Eyewitness News has also spoken to a Niagara Falls man who said Silverio abused him in the 1970s at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Falls. Church records show the diocese assigned Silverio to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from 1975-79. In 1980, he went on a "leave of absence," according to an Associated Press article, and took a position at Planned Parenthood in Niagara County before leaving the priesthood. Silverio then went on to hold leadership positions at the AIDS community clinic in Buffalo, the Pride Center of Western New York and Evergreen Health, where he was CEO. He retired from Evergreen Health in 2017.
Howard Slack (d. 1976) - Worked at Bishop Turner High School.
Art Smith - Smith in August 2018 was the subject of a 7 Eyewitness News investigation into Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of sexual abuse allegations. The investigation detailed multiple allegations against Smith of inappropriate contact with youth and sexual harassment and abuse of young men and a seminarian. Smith denied the allegations.
Gerard A. Smyczynski (d. 1999) - He worked at Our Mother of Good Counsel in Blasdell (1981), Infant of Prague in Cheektowaga (1982), "Sick leave" in 1983 and unknown from 1984-99.
James Smyka - Conventual Franciscan priest. He appears to be a priest in Syracuse and previously was assigned to St. Francis High School in Hamburg.
Clatus E. Snyder (d. 2001) - Diocesan priest.
James A. Spielman - In 1993, Spielman was accused of sexually abusing a child. The Diocese of Buffalo reached a settlement with the alleged survivor. Spielman reportedly resigned from the priesthood and moved to Alaska in 1993 after the allegation surfaced. In 2014, Spielman was named in a sexual abuse civil lawsuit in Hawaii. The diocese settled that claim for $1.5 million. 7 Eyewitness News spoke with David Husted, the victim and survivor of that abuse. Spielman was assigned to St. Aloysius in Springville (1972-77), St. Patrick in Salamanca (1978), Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean (1979-83), St. Mary in Canaseraga (1984-86), SS. Peter & Paul in Jamestown (1987-89), Unknown in 1990 (Believed to be Southdown Institute); St. Mary in Canaseraga, Assumption in Portageville and SS. Peter & Paul in Jamestown (1991-93). Believed to be living in the Southern Tier.
7 Eyewitness News also uncovered secret documents relating to the cover-up of Spielman's abuse by bishops and others in the Diocese of Buffalo:
Bernard Splawski - The Franciscan priest was accused in 1986 of inappropriate sexual contact with a student at Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo, The Buffalo News reported in 2003. Splawski taught at Timon from 1969-86 and served as associate principal, The News reported. He was transferred to New Jersey and removed from a parish there in 2003 after the family of the Timon boy renewed their complaints during the nationwide clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002-03.
Chester S. Stachewicz (d. 2010) - He worked at St. Philip the Apostle in Cheektowaga (1972-78), "Awaiting assignment" in 1979, St. James in Jamestown (1980), "Absent on leave" in 1981, St. William in West Seneca (1982), Unknown from 1983-2009.
William G. Stanton (d. 2004) - Longtime priest at St. Ambrose in South Buffalo. Diocesan records show Stanton had two allegations against him and denied one while he was still alive.
Harry Richard Strassberger (d. 1999) - Diocesan priest.
Samuel Venne - The diocese placed Venne on administrative leave on April 23 after receiving an allegation. Venne was retired but was listed in residence (he said Masses) at St. Stephen's Catholic Church on Grand Island. Previously, he was assigned to St. Martin of Tours in South Buffalo. On June 28, the diocese said the allegations against Venne and two other priests "have been substantiated and they will remain on administrative leave while the results of the Diocesan investigation are reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, who will make the final determination." Venne has denied the allegations.
Edward J. Walker (d. 2002) - He worked at Annunciation (1937-39), Immaculate Conception (1940), St. Nicholas (1941-42) and St. Mark (1943-53), all in Buffalo, St. Joseph in Fredonia (1954-65), Holy Name of Jesus in Buffalo (1966-81). He retired in 1982.
William G. Ward (d. 2008) - He worked at St. Leo's in Winston-Salem, N.C. (1951), St. Joseph's in Albion (1952), St. Stephen in Buffalo (1953-55), OLV Basilica in Lackawanna (1956-62), Working Boys Home in Buffalo (1963-66), Our Lady of Loreto in Falconer (1967), Prince of Peace in Niagara Falls (1968-70), St. Charles in Niagara Falls (1971-78), Bishop Burke Manor, Delaware Ave., Buffalo (1979), and Our Lady of Fatima in Elba (1980-97). He retired in 1998.
Charles M. Werth - in 1994, Werth was charged with sexual abuse in connection to an incident that happened at Ellicott Creek Park. He later pleaded guilty to exposure. Ten years later, Werth was charged with public lewdness in connection to another incident at Ellicott Creek Park.
William F. J. White (d. 2016) - White was placed on leave in 1993 and sent to an out-of-state treatment facility in the wake of allegations that he sexually abused two children. After the initial allegations surfaced, several others came forward and accused Fr. White of child sexual abuse. To date, at least 11 men have alleged that Fr. White sexually abused them as boys and teenagers.
Father White's assignments include Our Lady of Loretto in Buffalo (1977-78), Blessed Trinity in Buffalo (1979-81), Annunciation in Buffalo (1982-85), Queen of Heaven in West Seneca (1986-87), St. Louis in Buffalo (1988-93), "Absent on leave" in 1994, and unknown since 1995.
Mark J. Wolski - On Jan. 7, 2019, the Diocese of Buffalo added Wolski to its "List of priests with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse.” Wolski was retired but saying Masses in May 2018 when the Diocese of Buffalo suspended him pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. The victim, who spoke with 7 Eyewitness News by phone, said Fr. Wolski abused him from 1968 to 1970 while he was between 15 and 17 years old. From 2003 to 2004, he was a member of the Buffalo Diocese’s diocesan review board, which listens to claims of child sexual abuse by priests and decides whether victims should receive settlements.
Wolski's assignments included St. Jude's in Sardinia (1968), St. Barnabas in Depew (1969-72), St. Florian's in Buffalo (1973-74), Sheehan Residence and St. Joseph's New Cathedral (1975), Children's Hospital Chaplain (1976-83), "c/o 35 Lincoln Pkwy," diocesan headquarters (1984), St. James Major in Westfield (1985-90), St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo (1991-99), SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg (2000-2011). He was also on the diocesan finance council and was at one time vice-chair of the council of priests for the diocese. He retired in 2012.
Robert W. Wood - In 2003, Fr. Robert W. Wood was removed from ministry. Fr. Wood stated that he was removed in connection with an alleged incident that occurred sixteen years ago. Records show since he was removed, another allegation has been made against him. His assignments included Holy Trinity in Dunkirk (1975-76), St. Thomas Aquinas in Buffalo (1977-82), St. Francis in Tonawanda (1983-88), Annunciation in Elma (1989-2001) and St. Joseph in Varysburg (2003).
Priests identified in lawsuits and media reports:
Fr. Mark S. Andrzejczuk (d. 2011) - In February 2019, Gail Holler-Kennedy, a Niagara County woman, filed a lawsuit in state court alleging she was sexually abused by Fr. Andrzejczuk from 1978 to 1982 at Cardinal O'Hara High School, where Fr. Andrzejczuk was a teacher. The priest, who died in 2011, would write passes excusing Holler-Kennedy from another teacher's class and he would then sexually abuse her, the lawsuit stated. She was 14 years old.
Secondo Casarotto - In 2012, the diocese reached a legal settlement with a woman who said the former pastor of St. Anthony of Padua made sexual advances on her in 2009, The Buffalo News reported.
Charles Cassetta - in 2004, the Miami Herald reported an unidentified Florida woman was awarded a $220,000 settlement by the Diocese of Miami. She accused Casetta of sexually assaulting her 10 times in the early 1970s when she was a student at Cardinal Newman High School in Palm Beach County. Cassetta worked as a priest with the Diocese of Buffalo before moving to Florida.
Larry Connors - In May 2018, Jamestown man Daniel Bauer said he was in college decades ago when he said Father Larry Connors of St. James Church in Jamestown tried to sexually attack him before he was able to fight him off. (Connors went on to teach at Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk and St. Mary’s in Lancaster after he left the area and died in 1992).
Denman Dewey - Dewey was a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate religious order from 1950 to 1963, when he became a diocesan priest, officials for the Oblates said. He was assigned to churches in Buffalo, Batavia and East Aurora. In April 2018, a victim named Charlie Pero told WGRZ-TV that Dewey sexually assaulted him in his childhood bedroom in Batavia. Dewey was not named in the report, but 7 Eyewitness News has confirmed with Pero's lawyer that Dewey was the priest. According to diocesan directories, Dewey was assigned to Holy Angels in Buffalo (1963), St. Joseph's in Batavia (1964-65) and Immaculate Conception in East Aurora (1966). Dewey is deceased.
Kevin Downey - In March, The Buffalo News identified Downey as a Franciscan Friar who had been permanently removed from public ministry in April 2017. Downey was accused of sexually abusing a boy in 1990, while he was vice president of development at Quincy University in Illinois. At the time of his removal in 2017, Downey was serving at a church in Triangle, Va. The Buffalo News reported Downey had previously served as pastor at St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany from 2000-02.
Linus Hennessy - A Franciscan priest who taught at Bishop Timon High School, Hennessy was accused of sexual abuse in 2015 by Tino Flores of Buffalo, who held a news conference to speak about the diocese's investigation into the matter. Hennessy was identified as the priest facing the allegations in a WBFO Radio story posted on BishopAccountability.org. He died in 1983.
Sylvester Holbel (d. 1983) - In March 2018, Buffalo man Tom Travers identified Msgr. Holbel as his alleged abuser, according to WBFO radio. Holbel was assigned to St. Mary of the Angels in Olean, All Saints in Buffalo, then named pastor of Nativity of Our Lord in Orchard Park in 1960, according to BishopsAccountability . He was also the Superintendent of Diocese of Buffalo schools from 1941-1961. He retired in 1978 and died in 1983.
Gary L. Ketcham - A Franciscan Friar who was named in the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report , Ketcham was convicted in 1990 of molesting two boys in Alabama while on vacation the previous year, WBFO reported . Ketcham spent most of his career in the Diocese of Erie, Pa., but prior to that was assigned to St. Bonaventure University (1977-84) and St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo (1983-84), according to the grand jury report. He was laicized in 2002, the report stated, and no longer functioning as a priest.
Michael Lewandowski - The priest, a member of the Conventual Franciscan order, was suspended from public ministry in 2014 after accusations of sexual abuse of a minor, The Buffalo News reported in April 2018. He taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and at Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda from 1976 to 1991. The abuse is alleged to have occurred in the 1980s, The News reported , though the St. Francis president said the alleged abuse did not happen at St. Francis.
Michael Miller - A Franciscan priest, Miller taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg in 1993 and from 2000-03. Diocese of Buffalo officials said they were not aware of any abuse by Miller at St. Francis, but in 2013 he was sentenced to five years in prison in Connecticut on child pornography and obscenity charges, The Buffalo News and The Hartford Courant reported. The Courant reported that Miller invited a boy to come over and watch a "dirty movie" with him and wrote about sex acts he would perform on the boy.
Gabriel Patil - A Barnabite priest, Patil's name surfaced in a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report , which stated that in 2003 a victim reported that Patil abused him and four friends at Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic High School during the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the boys were seven to nine years old. The boys were living near the high school at the time, the report stated. Lawsuits were filed but dismissed because the statutes of limitation had expired, the report stated. Patil was a provincial superior for the religious order at St. James in Ontario, Canada, when the abuse was reported in 2003. In 2006, Patil was assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Youngstown, which is run by the Barnabites. Diocesan records show he served there until 2010, when The Buffalo News reported that a national victims advocacy group held a public event to criticize Bishop Edward U. Kmiec and the Diocese of Buffalo for not notifying area Catholics about Patil's history. The Barnabites, in the News story , said the allegations were "erroneous." Patil was reassigned to India and served there from 2011 to 2015, The News Minute reported , but authorities there banned him from the country, so he returned to Italy, the news article stated.
David Peter - In March 2019, David Harvey said he was abused by Fr. Peter in the 1970s when the priest was assigned to St. Edmund's in Tonawanda. He said he was abused multiple times, aboard a boat and in the church after Mass when he was an eight-year-old altar boy. Fr. Peter died in 2017 and the Buffalo Diocese declined to comment.
James F. Rapp - A Lockport native and a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales religious order, Rapp, 77, worked as a priest in 1979-80 at DeSales High School in Lockport, The Buffalo News reported. He was later accused of molesting students in Michigan and Oklahoma , where he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 40 years in prison, The Oklahoman reported. He was later sentenced to 20-40 years in prison for abuses in Michigan , MLive.com reported.
Maurus Schenck – In December 2018, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian said his client was abused by Schenck at St. Mary in Dunkirk in 1965 at the age of 13. Schenck was a Passionist priest and a diocesan document confirms the diocese received an allegation against him in 2018. He attended Holy Cross Seminary in Dunkirk. He died in 1975, an obituary states.
Robert J. Smith - in 1994, The Buffalo News reported that two former alter boys filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Sante Fe claiming Smith molested them. The Buffalo News also reported Smith attended the former Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University until he was expelled in 1958. He then moved to New Mexico where he was ordained in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Pauline Terese - Grand Island woman Carroll Becker in July 2018 said Terese, a Franciscan nun, abused her in 1955 while she was a 5-year-old girl at Christ the King School in Snyder . Becker said the nun berated her for being what she called "stupid and retarded and slow and I was so terrified, I didn’t know what was going on, I wet my pants." Becker said the nun took her to her room at the convent at Christ the King and "made me take off my underpants and…she raped me with a crucifix, saying this will cure me from defiling God’s property.” The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany said in a statement they are investigating the matter and said Sister Terese “left the congregation in 1982 and has since died.”
Edward Townsend - Buffalo man Gary Aldridge on March 21 told WBFO News that Townsend, a member of the Eudist religious order, abused him decades ago in the Black Rock neighborhood. Townsend taught at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Black Rock. Aldridge reported the abuse to the diocese in 2006.
Joseph J. Vogel (d. 1988) - A woman contacted 7 Eyewitness News, saying that she was abused in 1970 by Vogel, who founded Queen of Heaven Church in West Seneca. The woman said she was 12 when Vogel summoned her to the rectory and sexually abused her. The woman reported the abuse to the school principal -- a nun -- and her parents reported the abuse to the assistant pastor, but nothing was done, she said.
Jesuits "Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor" (2019 list):
Cornelius J. Carr (d. 2013) - The Jesuits said Carr had “more than one” allegation made against him and the estimated time frame of the abuse was the 1970s and 1990s. He taught at Canisius High School in 1952 and 1953, the Jesuits said, though Buffalo Diocese directories show he was assigned to Canisius College in 1965. In 1966, Carr was named provincial superior -- similar to a bishop -- of the Jesuits’ Buffalo Province. Carr was removed from ministry in 2005 “due to allegations” received by the New York province, the Jesuits said.
J. Peter Conroy - Conroy taught at Canisius High School and Canisius College. He was removed from the college in 2002 after sexual misconduct allegations from decades earlier were reported to the Buffalo Diocese. Conroy admitted to “inappropriate touching and groping” of two female relatives from 1972-76 , when the girls were minors and Conroy was an ordained priest, according to Molly O’Hara Ewing and Colleen O’Hara Carney, the two relatives who made the allegations. Since 2002, Catholic directories list Conroy as living in the Jogues Retreat Center in Cornwall, N.Y. , south of Poughkeepsie.
Thomas Denny - The Jesuits said the abuse likely took place in the 1960s-70s. Denny was assigned to Canisius High School from 1993-95.
John L. Farrand (d. 2003) - The Jesuits said he admitted to abuse of minors that occurred in 1961. He was assigned to Canisius High School from 1946-49.
Raymond Fullam (d. 1987) - The Jesuits said the alleged abuse occurred in 1954 and 1965. He was assigned to Canisius High School from 1953-58 and from 1972-76. A Canisius spokeswoman acknowledged in a statement that the alleged abuse involved a Canisius student.
James Gould - Gould was assigned to St. Ann’s Church in Buffalo -- run for decades by the Jesuits -- from 1975 to 1983, the Jesuits said. In addition, church records obtained by the I-Team show the diocese has known about Gould’s alleged abuse since 2012, when the information was included in a secret “black binder” of allegations given to Bishop Richard J. Malone when he was named bishop. An allegation against Gould also appeared on a June 2018 agenda of the diocesan review board.
Vincent Mooney (d. 1981) - In January 2019, the Jesuit religious order included him on a list of priests with credible allegations of child sex abuse. Mooney allegedly raped and impregnated a young Buffalo woman in the late 1960s in his office at Canisius High School, as documented in a story published by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team.
William Scanlon -- The Jesuits said Scanlon admitted to abusing minors from 1985-94. He was assigned to Canisius College from 1976-80. The Jesuits say they "restricted" and then "impeded" him but never defrocked him as a priest, and he was pictured in 2010 giving Holy Communion .
Suspended by Buffalo Diocese (Cases pending):
Louis Dolinic - In October 2018, the diocese suspended Dolinic following an abuse complaint.
Joseph Gatto - In September 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Gatto on administrative leave pending a complaint of sexual misconduct against an adult. Gatto told 7 Eyewitness News he was taking a leave of absence for health reasons and not because of abuse allegations.
In October 2018, Gatto was accused of sexual misconduct by a second man, who said Gatto made unwanted sexual advances when he sought counseling from the priest. Gatto, the president and rector of Christ the King Seminary, was also accused of contributing to a
"sexual culture" at the seminary
Samuel T. Giangreco - In November 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Giangreco on administrative leave after receiving "a complaint of sexual misconduct with an adult female," the diocese announced. Ordained in 2016, Giangreco was a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna at the time of the suspension.
Pascal D. Ipolito - In June 2018 the Diocese of Buffalo placed Ipolito on administrative leave "until the completion of a preliminary investigation regarding a complaint of abuse." Ipolito, retired since 2017, served at Sacred Heart in Wellsville (1970). His location in 1971 is unknown, but after that he served at Annunciation in Elma (1972-79), St. Bonaventure in West Seneca (1980-82), St. Vincent de Paul in Evans (1983-88), St. James in Buffalo (1989-95), St. Catherine of Siena in West Seneca (1996-2008) and St. George in West Falls (2009-17).
Michael P. Juran - The Diocese of Buffalo placed Juran on administrative leave in October 2018 after an allegation of abuse, the diocese announced on its website . Juran was listed in the 2018 Buffalo Diocese directory under a Florida address, but Juran is not your average Buffalo priest. In news articles, he claims to be a stuntman for Burt Reynolds and was known as the "Flying Padre." In this video posted to YouTube , he says he is from Hamburg.
Ronald Mierzwa - The Ellicottville priest was suspended in September 2018 after an abuse complaint, the Diocese of Buffalo announced. Mierzwa was featured in a recent I-Team investigation into Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of sexual abuse claims. Mierzwa was not named in the story and in a phone interview before it aired, told the I-Team he didn’t remember allegations that he made a group of boys “parade around in their underwear.” But in March 2019, Bishop Richard Malone said the allegation of child sex abuse against him was "substantiated" and his case was forwarded to the Vatican.
Daniel Palys - On June 28, 2018 the Diocese of Buffalo placed Palys on administrative leave "until the completion of a preliminary investigation regarding a complaint of abuse." In a letter to parishioners, Palys denied the abuse claim, writing, "I am totally innocent. I have never never hurt a child." Palys was assigned to St. Joseph in Bliss (1970), St. Mary in Lockport (1971), St. Andrew in Kenmore (1972-79), Christ the King in Snyder (1980-85) and Annunciation in Buffalo (1986-93). Palys was known for his popular children's Masses at St. Gabriel in Elma, where he served from 1994 until his retirement in 2018.
John M. Ryan - On July 30, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Ryan on administrative leave pending an abuse complaint. The priest retired in 2001 from St. Benedict Church in Eggertsville and is the former superintendent of Diocese of Buffalo Catholic Schools. Ryan's first assignment as a priest appears to be St. Joseph in Bliss (1956). It is unclear where he was assigned from 1957-61, as diocesan directories from that time period were unavailable. His later assignments included Nativity in Buffalo (1962) and Bishop Turner High School in Buffalo (1963-69), where he was assistant principal for two years. The diocese then assigned him to Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean (1970-74). From 1972-74, he was also the administrator of St. Helen's Church in Hinsdale. In 1975, Ryan served as director of research, planning and public relations for Catholic Schools, and from 1976-80 he was Superintendent of Catholic Schools. (From 1976-77, he was also listed in residence and the weekend assistant at St. Stephen's in Buffalo. In 1978, he was listed in residence and the weekend assistant at Nativity in Williamsville and from 1979-80, he was the chaplain of the Mount Mercy Convent in South Buffalo.) From 1981-2001, the diocese assigned Ryan to St. Benedict in Eggertsville.
Robert Yetter - In 2018, Yetter was a key figure in a three-part 7 Eyewitness News investigation examining Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo. Malone allowed Yetter to remain pastor of St. Mary's in Swormville despite multiple sexual harassment allegations by young men. After the story, the diocese received a new complaint of sexual abuse by Yetter, this one involving a minor. Yetter was placed on administrative leave and Malone accepted his resignation as pastor. The diocese is investigating the complaint.
Arthur Mattulke, Patrick O'Keefe and Robert Orlowski -- In April 2019, the diocese placed the three priests on temporary leave of absence following an incident at Saints Peter & Paul Parish Rectory in Hamburg.
According to the diocese, "unsuitable, inappropriate and insensitive conversations" took place during a social gathering of seminarians and priests on April 11 that some seminarians found to be offensive.
"The complaints did not include or infer any instance of physical sexual abuse of a minor or adult," a statement from the diocese said. Click here to read the full statement.
As a result, Bishop Richard Malone suspended Mattulke and O'Keefe, both of of Saints Peter & Paul, and Orlowski, of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Blasdell, from parish assignments while disciplinary action is taken. The diocese said "corrective actions" include psychological evaluations, retraining in sexual harassment policies and individual retreats.
Exonerated/Returned to ministry by Buffalo Diocese:
Deborah Brown - In December 2018, Brown was accused by two parishioners of sexual harassment . She is the parish administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Alden. One parishioner said Brown “hugged me closely and kissed me firmly on the mouth” while another said Brown "put her body against mine in a way that was just wrong." Brown did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Buffalo said, "The complaints of alleged adult misconduct in this case did not warrant the removal of any personnel.”
Roy Herberger - In June 2018 the Diocese of Buffalo placed Herberger on administrative leave "until the completion of a preliminary investigation regarding a complaint of abuse." Herberger denied the allegations, The Buffalo News reported, and in a letter to friends said, "I want everyone to know that I deny these claims completely – 100 percent. I'm not saying that the victim is lying about being assaulted by some priest, a priest but I do emphatically deny that it was me." In December 2019, the diocese exonerated Herberger and returned him to ministry , saying the allegations "have not been substantiated." 7 Eyewitness News has spoken with the therapist of the accuser, who maintains he was abused by Herberger. The priest is retired by serving at SS. Columba Brigid in Buffalo.
Frederick R. Leising - On Nov. 3, 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Leising on administrative leave pending an abuse complaint, the diocese announced . In an interview with 7 Eyewitness News, Leising, the former president-rector of Christ the King Seminary, denied the allegation that he stuck his tongue down the throat of a teenage girl in the 1980s. But he said the diocese had known about the allegation for months and was only suspending him in an attempt at damage control. In December 2019, the diocese exonerated Leising and returned him to ministry , saying the allegations "have not been substantiated."
Dennis Riter - The pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Dunkirk, he was the first active priest the diocese suspended after the 2018 sex abuse scandal broke. On March 26 , the diocese placed Riter on administrative leave as the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team was about to publish a detailed account from a former altar boy in which the boy alleged he and another altar boy were abused by Riter multiple times in the 1990s at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo's Old First Ward. Riter denied the allegations.
The I-Team later found more victims and a letter from a former seminarian who said he tried to warn diocesan leaders about alleged abuse by Riter at Queen of All Saints in Lackawanna. He said he was told that his whistle-blowing was "not appreciated" by leaders of the diocese.
In June 2018, the diocese exonerated Riter after it said allegations against him "have not been substantiated." The move to reinstate him at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Dunkirk drew criticism , but Riter's attorney, Rodney O. Personius, told 7 Eyewitness News that the priest felt "vindicated."
Ronald P. Sajdak - On Nov. 3, 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Sajdak on administrative leave pending an abuse complaint, the diocese announced . Sajdak, the pastor of a Catholic church in Clarence, was a teenager in the 1970s when the accuser alleges the abuse began, The Buffalo News reported . The accuser said Sajdak blackmailed him into an abusive sexual relationship. The man said he was 13 when the abuse started and that the blackmail and sexual relationship lasted 10 years, The News reported. Sajdak did not respond to messages left for comment. On Dec. 21 , the diocese said the allegation against him "has not been substantiated" and he was returned to ministry.
John J. Sardina - In September 2018, the Diocese placed Sardina, a retired priest, on administrative leave after receiving an abuse complaint. He denied the allegations to WIVB-TV in a phone interview. In March 2019, Bishop Richard Malone reinstated Sardina after a diocesan board said the allegations "could not be substantiated." Sardina worked at Nativity in Buffalo (1962-64), Our Lady of Pompeii in Lancaster (1965-67), Holy Cross in Buffalo (1968), Coronation in Buffalo (1969-77), Holy Cross in Buffalo (1978-80) and St. Anthony in Fredonia (1981-86). In 1987, he is not listed as serving in a parish and his address is listed as 795 Main St., which is headquarters for the diocese. From 1988 until his retirement in 2013, Sardina served as chaplain of Brothers of Mercy nursing home in Clarence. While he was at Brothers of Mercy, he was listed as "in residence" at Queen of Martyrs in Cheektowaga in 1988 and from 2003-13.
Robert Stolinski - On June 28, 2018 the Diocese of Buffalo placed Stolinski on administrative leave "until the completion of a preliminary investigation regarding a complaint of abuse." In March 2019, the diocese returned him to ministry after it said the allegation "could not be substantiated." However, Bishop Malone's confidential files revealed that Stolinski had a history of problems with pornography, as detailed in a 7 Eyewitness News investigative report .
Stolinski served as associate chaplain at Buffalo General and Roswell Park hospitals (1972-78) and as chaplain at Erie County Medical Center (1979-2002). During that time, he was listed in residence at St. Bartholomew's in Buffalo (1979-88) and St. Stephen in Buffalo (1999-2002). In 2003, he was unassigned and listed in diocesan directories as "c/o 795 Main St. (diocesan headquarters) until November 2003, when directories show he was assigned to St. James in Jamestown, where he served until 2009. His assignment in 2010 is unclear, as he is not listed in the Official Catholic Directory for that year. He retired in 2011 to the Sheehan Residence for retired priests in Buffalo. He was "assisting clergy" at St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara Falls in 2018 when he was placed on leave.
Accused priests listed on internal diocesan records as published in April 2019 7 Eyewitness News I-Team report :
(Note: The diocese declined to say whether any of these cases were substantiated or not substantiated. Spokeswoman Kathy Spangler denied that all cases related to sexual abuse, but would not specify which cases to which she was referring. Click here to read the diocese’s full explanation . Also, 7 Eyewitness News does not identify sex crime victims without their permission, and only identified abuse victims when they wanted to be identified publicly. Click here to view the original report .)
Fr. Carlton (CJ) Westfield - In May 2012, a secretary at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk reported that Westfield “was discussing inappropriate topics with the sixth and seventh grade boys in religious education class,” a confidential memo to Bishop Malone stated. The memo also said Westfield “had taken pictures of small groups of the boys and girls” and was giving “private lessons” on Catholicism to a seventh grade boy.
During a meeting with Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, Westfield “admitted discussing...pornography and masturbation with the boys” and admitted taking pictures of the children. Westfield stopped teaching at the school, the memo states , and the diocese “arranged for a forensic review of Father Westfield’s computer by the Diocese computer services office.” Nowhere in the memo does it mention calling the police, and the allegations have never been made public.
Click here to read the diocese's internal document describing the allegations about Westfield.
In addition, the diocese reviewed an allegation about Westfield from a man in 2018, a different diocesan document confirms. But diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said in an email, “The person who made the allegation in 2018 initially thought that his abuser might be Fr. Westfield and later, after reviewing information and photographs, withdrew the allegation against him. All the information was presented to the Review Board.”
Ordained in 1971, Westfield was pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Falconer and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Frewsburg. He became pastor of St. Anthony Church in Fredonia in 1999. He is retired and is listed as pastor emeritus of St. Anthony in Fredonia. Westfield did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment.
Fr. James Bartnik – A Florida man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against Bartnik in 2018 to the diocese. The man said roughly 40 years ago, Bartnik had inappropriate sexual contact with him under the guide of “wrestling.” He said he reported the contact almost immediately, and his family was ostracized from St. John Cantius in Buffalo.
The man also described his frustration with trying to report the abuse to the Diocese of Buffalo last summer. He said he called seven times before receiving a call back, and diocesan representatives told him it was “too late for anything to be done,” he said. Bartnik also worked at St. Teresa in South Buffalo. He died in 2013.
Msgr. Ted Berg – When questioned by 7 Eyewitness News, Marc Pasquale of Buffalo said -- and multiple diocesan documents confirm -- that he called the diocese in 2018 to inquire why a priest reported to him years earlier was not on the diocese’s list. Pasquale said he did so because those involved had questioned him about why the 2018 Buffalo Diocese list did not include Berg, and they were concerned there was a cover-up.
Pasquale, while serving as parish administrator of St. Teresa’s in South Buffalo in 1987, said he was told by parish employees that they found child pornography in Msgr. Berg’s room during routine maintenance. Pasquale said he immediately reported the incident to multiple people and Bishop Head was notified.
But records show the diocese allowed Berg to remain pastor of St. Teresa’s until his 2003 retirement. Even after the retirement, he was appointed canonical administrator to three Catholic grammar schools in South Buffalo. He died in 2009.
Fr. Gerald Collins & Fr. Joseph Garin – A Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against both priests in 2018 to the diocese. He did not want to be identified and would not go into details of the allegations.
Collins served in churches in the Southern Tier and in Buffalo’s Old First Ward from the 1950s through the 1970s, newspaper archives show. He was also assigned to All Saints Church in Buffalo and the Newman Center at Alfred University. Garin served in churches in Buffalo and Niagara Falls before dying in a fire in the Prince of Peace Church rectory in 1965, according to the Niagara Falls Gazette.
Fr. George Cotter – The diocese reviewed an allegation against Cotter from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document shows. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan record shows that in 2018, she alleged abuse by Cotter in the 1950s and 1960s, when she was between 7 and 19 years old. Cotter was pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in the Town of Tonawanda. He is believed to be deceased.
Msgr. Joseph F. Coughlin – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News -- and a diocesan document confirms -- that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The woman said it was the fourth time she or her husband reported the alleged sexual assault (she talked with three bishops and senior administrators of the diocese previously), she said.
The woman said Coughlin, the founding pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew (he served from 1965 to 1995), sexually assaulted her under the guise of teaching her how to be a Eucharistic minister. She said she was 36 years old in the early 1990s when Coughlin groped her and pinned her down. Years later, Coughlin exhibited “stalking” behavior to her when she moved to another parish, she said.
She was denied compensation from the diocese this year, she said, even though in the late 1990s an auxiliary bishop told her Coughlin had a file that was “two inches thick” with complaints. She said she never reported the incident to police because Coughlin was chaplain of the Erie County Captains and Lieutenants Police Association, the Erie County Police Chiefs Association, the Depew Police Department, and the Cheektowaga Police Department. He died in 2005.
Msgr. Edmund Dietzel - The diocese reviewed an inquiry about Dietzel from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” also confirms the allegation and states the accuser said she was between 3 and 12 at the time of the incident.
Dietzel served as an assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima, St. Agnes, St. Matthew, Blessed Trinity, St. Nicholas and St. Anthony, all in Buffalo. He was the founding pastor of St. John Vianney of Orchard Park, where he served for 31 years. Dietzel died in 1989.
Fr. John Donnelly – A 57-year-old Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The man said Donnelly abused him in the early 1970s when he was a 12-year-old altar boy at St. Monica’s church in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. The man did not want to be identified. Donnelly is believed to be deceased.
Fr. John Doyle – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. She said Doyle abused her in the 1960s, when she was a fifth-grade student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park.
She did not want to be identified but she said she was disappointed with how the diocese handled her claim.
“What a nightmare,” she said. “The whole thing is just a huge nightmare.”
She said she was excluded from the diocese’s settlement program because she didn’t report the abuse years earlier. Until now, Fr. Doyle’s name has remained secret because of the bishop’s policy.
“And now, I feel totally slapped in the face,” she said, holding back tears. “I think if they weren’t gonna follow through with this, then I think they should have not said anything at all. Because for me, it was reliving it. And it’s not fair...it’s not fair to all the people who got kicked out because it was only one person who said this priest did this.”
She added, “It's important that people know that it is my faith in God and not the church that carried me through. His peace and healing has helped me survive.”
Doyle is believed to be deceased.
Fr. Ralph Federico – A man named Greg told 7 Eyewitness News -- and a diocesan document confirms -- that he reported an allegation against Federico in 2018. Greg was 12 years old in the early 1970s when Federico sexually abused him, he said. Greg was an altar boy at Our Lady of Pompeii in Depew, where Federico was pastor, but the abuse occurred when Federico took him to a trailer he owned in Mayville.
Greg said he did not tell his grandparents, who raised him, because “they wouldn’t have believed me anyway.” He was disappointed with the way the diocese handled his claim this year, he said. “They just kind of blow you off,” he said. “Of course you’re not going to talk to anyone who’s gonna tell you the truth.”
Greg, who requested his last name be withheld, said he has suffered from the effects of the abuse for decades. Federico was also pastor of St. John in Jamestown and Our Lady of Lourdes in Bemus Point. He spoke out in local newspapers about social issues, including the evils of pornography. He died in 2007.
Fr. John Fox - The diocese reviewed an allegation about Fox from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” confirms the woman said she was 15 years old at the time of the incident.
Ordained in 1960, Fox first served as a ministry apostolate at St. Mark in Rushford and an assistant at St. Ambrose in Buffalo, St. Mary in Holley, St. William in West Seneca and St. Aloysius in Cheektowaga. He was pastor of St. Vincent in Attica from 1980 to 1992. In 1992, he resigned for medical reasons and retired in 1997, his obituary stated. He died in 2015.
Msgr. Francis Growney - The diocese reviewed an allegation about Growney from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” confirms the woman said she was six years old at the time of the incident. Growney was pastor of St. William Church in West Seneca from 1937-74. He was known for his outdoor Masses. He died in 1975.
Fr. Cairnan Haggerty – The diocese reviewed an allegation about Haggerty from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. Haggerty, a Franciscan priest, was ordained in 1955 and taught at Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo. He then went to Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean and served as principal and guardian of Friars. He later served as campus minister at St. Bonaventure University. He died in 1991.
A spokesman for the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province said in a statement, “HNP is aware of a number of abuse claims in the Buffalo diocese. The province cannot comment on the specifics of these claims since they are under active investigation...Under the circumstances, with these claims alleging abuse that took place in the past - in some instances, upwards of 50 years ago, whereby accused and potential witnesses are deceased - HNP nevertheless is investigating these claims to the extent humanly possible, despite the difficulties and challenges they pose.” Click here to read the full statement .
UPDATE: After this story was published, St. Bonaventure officials said they "have discovered no reports of abuse filed against Fr. Cairnan Haggerty, O.F.M., who served as a campus minister at SBU from September 1983 to May 1985."
Msgr. Francis Hanna – The diocese reviewed an allegation about Hanna from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a different diocesan record, titled “PROCESSED CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CLERGY AND RELIGIOUS,” also confirms the diocese received an abuse allegation against Hanna.
UPDATE: After this story was published, Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney, confirmed he is representing the man who made the allegation against Hanna. He said his client, who did not want to be identified, was 8 years old when he was abused by Hanna in 1966. Garabedian said the man is in his 60s now.
Hanna was chaplain at Emergency Hospital (Sheehan Hospital) in Buffalo in the 1970s and also worked at St. James in Jamestown. It is unclear whether he is alive or deceased.
Fr. James Kasprzyk - The diocese reviewed an allegation about Kasprzyk from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” confirms the man said he was between 10 and 15 years old at the time of the incident.
UPDATE: After this story was published, the man who made the allegation contacted 7 Eyewitness News and said it took place at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Bennington. "The priest was into getting tied up in the basement to a pole," he said. The man, who is now in his 40s and did not want to be identified, said the incidents took a psychological toll on him and on another boy who were told to participate in the acts.
"He's beloved in the community," the man said of Kasprzyk, "but there was this undercurrent -- those of us who were street-wise knew what was going on."
Ordained in 1965, Kasprzyk served as assistant pastor at Queen of Martyrs, Cheektowaga; St. Ambrose; St. Casimir; Visitation; and St. Luke, all in Buffalo; Queen of Heaven, West Seneca; St. John the Baptist, Lockport; and Most Precious Blood, Angola.
In 1978, Kasprzyk was named pastor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Bennington Center and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Darien Center. He retired in 1993 for medical reasons, his obituary stated. He died in 2014.
Fr. Francis Kealy – Jack Schintzius told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. Kealy, a Franciscan priest, worked at Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo from 1951 to 1958, and Schintzius said the priest made him expose his private parts in a “humiliating” manner. “I never had a normal youth after that,” Schintzius said. Kealy died in 2006.
A spokesman for the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province said in a statement, “HNP is aware of a number of abuse claims in the Buffalo diocese. The province cannot comment on the specifics of these claims since they are under active investigation...Under the circumstances, with these claims alleging abuse that took place in the past - in some instances, upwards of 50 years ago, whereby accused and potential witnesses are deceased - HNP nevertheless is investigating these claims to the extent humanly possible, despite the difficulties and challenges they pose.” Click here to read the full statement .
Fr. Nelson Kinmartin - A man told 7 Eyewitness News -- and two diocesan documents confirm -- that in 2018 he called the diocese to report that Kinmartin fondled him in 1982. Kinmartin was a guidance counselor at Bishop Turner High School at the time and called the freshman student down to the guidance office to “discuss careers,” the man said, before the priest started fondling him.
Ordained in 1950, Kinmartin also worked at Notre Dame High School in Batavia and was principal of Baker-Victory High School in Lackawanna. In 1969, Kinmartin was named the pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Elba. He died in 1989.
Fr. William Lanphear – A Buffalo man called to report abuse by Lanphear in the 1990s, his lawyer confirmed. The man did not want to be identified, but the attorney said his client accepted a settlement from the diocese in 2018 for the abuse. The allegation also appears on a diocesan document from June 2018. Lanphear was a diocesan and religious order priest (Oblates of St. Francis de Sales). He worked at DeSales Catholic High School in Lockport New York. He died in 2008.
Br. Michael Latrello - The diocese reviewed an allegation about Latrello from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” confirms the man made a report and said the incident happened when he was between 18 and 20 years old.
Latrello joined the Brothers of Mercy in 1964 and became a nurse practitioner at the University at Buffalo in 1977. From 1975 to 1976, Latrello worked in surgery unit at a local hospital. He died in 1996. An official at the Brothers of Mercy campus in Clarence referred 7 Eyewitness News to the Diocese of Buffalo when we requested to be put in contact with the religious order about the allegations. The diocese gave no details about the allegations.
Msgr. Richard O’Brien – A Buffalo woman told 7 Eyewitness News -- and a diocesan document confirms -- that she called the diocese in 2018 to report abuse by O’Brien in the 1940s, when she was 10 years old.
The woman, now 82, said O’Brien was at Annunciation Church in Buffalo when he took her into a room and said, “This is just between you and me...We don’t want anyone to get hurt.” She said she now considers the statement a threat and has suffered the effects of the abuse for decades.
“He did horrible, horrible things to me,” she said. She did not want to be identified and 7 Eyewitness News does not identify victims of sex crimes without their permission.
O’Brien was pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville and Annunciation in Buffalo. Born during the Civil War, he was believed to be the world’s oldest priest when he died in 1963 at 101, his obituary stated.
Fr. Joseph H. Penkaul - The diocese reviewed an allegation about Penkaul from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a different diocesan record, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” states the man reporting the abuse said he was 14 or 15 at the time of the incident.
Penkaul worked at Notre Dame High School in Batavia (1971-74), was assistant principal of Bishop Turner High School and principal of Baker-Victory High School (1977). He was also pastor of St. Joseph’s in Scio, St. Mary’s in Belmont and St. Phillip in Cheektowaga. He was also chaplain of Attica state prison. He died in 2008.
Msgr. Albert Rung – The diocese reviewed an allegation by a man against Rung in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a different diocesan record, titled “PROCESSED CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS BY CLERGY AND RELIGIOUS,” also mentions Rung as “accused.” A third diocesan document, written on the letterhead of Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz and titled, “‘NEW’ NAMES OF PRIESTS - CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS,” lists Rung with the explanation: “did not follow up with report of abuse of scout master.” The first two documents reference the same accuser, but the third document is unclear on who made the report.
Rung held high-ranking positions in the Buffalo Diocese, including vicar general and chief judge of the tribunal. He was diocesan administrator when the bishop traveled to Rome for Vatican II, the WNY Catholic reported. He was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Buffalo and chaplain for St. Mary Maternity Hospital and the Crippled Children’s Guild. He died in 1971.
UPDATE: After this story was published, diocesan officials clarified that Rung was not accused of sexual abuse. He was accused of mishandling abuse that was reported to him. Click here to read the diocese's internal document describing this.
Fr. Gervase White -- The diocese reviewed an allegation against White from a man in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the man, but a spokesman for the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province said in a statement, “HNP is aware of a number of abuse claims in the Buffalo diocese. The province cannot comment on the specifics of these claims since they are under active investigation...Under the circumstances, with these claims alleging abuse that took place in the past - in some instances, upwards of 50 years ago, whereby accused and potential witnesses are deceased - HNP nevertheless is investigating these claims to the extent humanly possible, despite the difficulties and challenges they pose.” Click here to read the full statement .
UPDATE: After this story was published, St. Bonaventure University officials said, according to its records, no instances of abuse had ever been reported against Fr. Gervase White, O.F.M., during his 47 years as an administrator and teacher at the university.
“Officials at Holy Name Province have informed us that the abuse allegation against Fr. Gervase is being investigated. Until we know with certainty if this allegation is credible, we believe it’s not appropriate to comment further on the case at this time,” said Dr. Dennis R. DePerro, university president. Click here to read the full statement .
A Franciscan priest, White worked at St. Bonaventure University from 1955 to 2001. He was prefect in the residence halls until 1965, dean of students from 1967 to 1970 and vicar of the local community, his obituary states. He died in 2002 and the scoreboard at St. Bonaventure’s basketball arena bears his name.
Msgr. Maurice Woulfe - A woman told 7 Eyewitness News — and a diocesan document confirms — that she contacted the diocese in 2018 to report that she was sexually attacked by a priest from Boston in 1957 while attending a national Catholic youth conference, and that Woulfe allegedly played a part in the cover-up of the attack.
The woman said Msgr. Woulfe, through a friend, urged her to be quiet about the attack and not to say anything to anyone at the conference. The woman said she went through years of depression because of the attack, but has lived a successful life and remains Catholic today. She said she called the diocese to report it because she wants the sexual abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church to end. She said she was “grateful” that diocesan staff members responded and were willing to hear her story.
In addition, a second document obtained by 7 Eyewitness News written on the letterhead of Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, titled, “‘NEW’ NAMES OF PRIESTS - CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS,” lists Woulfe’s name. It is unclear whether this document refers to the same allegation.
Ordained in 1937 in Ireland, Woulfe served in Wyoming before coming to WNY. He was the diocese’s youth director from 1949-62 and received the “Padre of Youth Award” from the National Catholic Youth Organization. He also served as a chaplain for the Erie Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Woulfe worked at SS. Peter and Paul in Jamestown, Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga and Immaculate Conception in East Aurora. He was named pastor of Infant of Prague parish in 1961. He died in 1989.
This list is a work in progress and any corrections, additions or changes are welcomed. Please send to ITeam@WKBW.com.