BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Diocese of Buffalo announced Bishop Michael Fisher has placed four retired priests on administrative leave due to allegations.
The diocese says it was informed of the allegations after informational documents were filed with the federal Bankruptcy Court as part of its chapter 11 reorganization proceeding. According to the diocese, "bankruptcy claimants have filed confidential documents containing information about their allegations against the priests."
The accused retired priests are:
The Reverend Robert Beiter (82), who is retired and not currently active in ministry due to declining health is restricted from carrying out any priestly ministry or from presenting himself publicly as a priest. At the time of his retirement Fr. Beiter’s served as Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Brocton.
The Reverened Thomas Wopperer (83), also retired but who assists at a number of diocesan parishes, is also restricted from performing priestly ministry or presenting himself publicly as a priest. Fr. Wopperer served as Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Dunkirk prior to his retirement.
The Reverend Raymond Donohue (63), is retired but also occasionally assists in various parishes. He is also restricted from performing priestly ministry or presenting himself publicly as a priest Fr. Donohue had previously served as Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mayville and St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Sherman.
The Reverend Monsignor Ronald Sciera (86), who is retired and currently residing in Florida, has also been placed on administrative leave. Msgr. Sciera is not currently active in public ministry, however is similarly restricted from presenting himself as a priest or performing priestly ministry. He previously served as Pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Buffalo. Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, has been informed of Msgr. Sciera’s status.
The diocese said it reported the allegations to the offices of the appropriate District Attorneys and the Independent Review Board and said all of the priests have denied committing acts of abuse.