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Diocese of Buffalo releases reformatted lists of priests accused of sexual abuse

Diocese of Buffalo

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is releasing updated lists of clergy accused of sexual abuse of a minor, separating those who served for the diocese from those who worked within religious orders.

These are names which have previously been released by the Diocese of Buffalo but according to a spokesperson, the cases of those who served in orders will be handled by the orders in which they were enrolled.

According to an information sheet released by the Diocese Tuesday: "It should be pointed out that when an allegation is received against a religious order priest or a priest of another diocese, the allegation is reported to the superior of the religious order or to the Bishop of the other diocese. It is their responsibility to pursue the case, investigate it thoroughly, and determine if the allegation is substantiated. They alone possess the complete personnel file of the priest, control his assignments, and have knowledge of the priest’s personal and behavioral history. They also will be responsible for forwarding each priest’s case to Rome for a final judgment."

Currently, 75 diocesan priests are identified as being accused of sexual abuse while 22 priests affiliated with religious orders are identified on the second list as having substantiated claims.

According to the Diocese, "names will continue to be added to the list if new allegations are received and substantiated after investigation and recommendations from the Independent Review Board are accepted by Bishop Malone."

Those on the diocesan list who have not since died are listed as having left ministry, with the exception of a few who reportedly left the priesthood.

Not included in the list are any deceased priests facing only one accusation. According to a written statement released by the Diocese, "this was done not to minimize the allegation, but to point out how difficult it is to substantiate an allegation."

Deceased priests accused of more than one count of sexual abuse of a minor are included on the diocesan list.

The Diocese of Buffalo currently faces more than 200 lawsuits filed since the opening of a one-year window provided by the Child Victims Act.

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