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Two more WNY priests put on administrative leave after CVA lawsuits filed

St. Stephen School News

Two more priests have been put on administrative leave. The move comes after the priests were publicly named in sexual abuse lawsuits filed Wednesday, the first day of the one-year Child Victims Act window.

Bishop Richard Malone has maintained throughout the clergy abuse crisis that no priests with substantiated allegations of abuse remain in ministry in Buffalo. However, on Thursday, Revs. Paul Nogaro - pastor at St. Stephen Parish on Grand Island - and Peter Popadick - pastor at St. Aloysius Parish in Cheektowaga - were named in lawsuits announced by James Faluszczak, a former priest and abuse survivor who has been a leader in the movement for survivor justice.

The bishop took little time adding Nogaro and Popadick to thelist of local priests on administrative leave. That list includes two kinds of priests: those awaiting an investigation into an allegation and those awaiting removal from the priesthood by the Vatican, the only authority that can defrock a priest, according to canon law.

Credit St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church
Fr. Peter Popadick

In addition to Nogaro and Popadick, there are four other priests currently on leave. Listed on the Buffalo Catholic Diocese website are Pascal Ipolito and Daniel Palys, who have been on leave since June of 2018 after the diocese substantiated abuse allegations made against them. Robert Yetter has been on leave since August of last year and resigned from his Swormville parish. Louis Dolinic, who retired in 2010 and spent most of his ministry in North Tonawanda, has been on leave since October while an investigation continues.

In announcing these latest names, Malone noted "the opening of the Child Victims Act and filing of lawsuits against the Diocese of Buffalo has become another avenue by which the Diocese is becoming aware/alerted to claims of abuse." More names may become public as more lawsuits are filed across New York State.