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No Harassment Found in Incident with Bishop

By Joyce Kryszak

Chautuaqua, NY – The Chautuaqua County District Attorney has concluded that nothing criminal happened between a Fredonia man and the Bishop of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

The Chautuaqua County DA's office has wrapped up its investigation into the alleged altercation. Fredonia resident, William Parks had accused the Bishop of angrily shoving his finger onto Parks' chest two week ago, during an argument at a Banquet Hall.

The two were arguing over the Diocese's plan to close two Polish-American churches in Dunkirk. Parks heads Catholic Parishioners against Church Suppression, a group fighting to keep the churches open.

District Attorney David Foley said eye witnesses were questioned. Five people said nothing physical happened. One man who was with Parks said there was slight physical contact. But Foley said, even if there was contact, that doesn't rise to anything criminal.

The Buffalo Catholic Diocese declined to comment on tape. However, a spokesman for the Bishop issued a statement, saying the findings confirm what the Bishop has maintained all along. The statement continued, saying that the Diocese understands the emotions involved, but that Parks "clearly crossed the line."

Foley said Parks was out of place - if not out of line. He was not among those attending the event, and confronted the Bishop after coming in to ask for his picture to be taken with the Bishop.

The Diocese said the Bishop continues to pray for unity and peace as the closing plan moves forward.

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