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Buffalo priest placed on leave after being named in two Child Victims Act lawsuits

WBFO file photo
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo headquarters in downtown Buffalo.

A Buffalo priest has been placed on leave following abuse allegations in two lawsuits.

Monsignor James G. Kelly, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo who continues to assist in parish ministry, was suspended Wednesday after an unnamed plaintiff said in court papers that Kelly molested him in the 1980s.

Kelly, who is now 83, is also at the center of an earlier action pursuant to the Child Victims Act brought by an individual who alleges he was abused by Kelly 15 years ago.

According to church leaders, the initial complaint was not served on the diocese but was instead discovered during a recent search of publicly filed complaints. Diocesan officials said that once they learned of the first complaint, they notified the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and confronted Kelly, who denied committing any acts of abuse.

As a result of the complaint filed Wednesday, Bishop Michael Fisher said he placed Kelly on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation.