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Four Buffalo Catholic Diocese priests returned to ministry

A close-up of the Catholic Center entrance
File Photo

Four priests in the Diocese of Buffalo are being returned to ministry by Bishop Michael Fisher.

Allegations of abuse led to the four being placed on administrative leave. But subsequent investigations by the diocesan Independent Review Board determined the allegations were unsubstantiated, leading the Board to recommend that the priests be reinstated.

They are Fr. Adolph Kowalczyk, pastor of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park; Fr. Gregory Dobson, who is retired but assists in various parishes; Fr. Matt Nycz, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul in Williamsville; and Monsignor James Kelly, who at age 83 is retired, but continues to assist in parish ministry.

"The Diocese followed its rigorous policies and protocols in dealing with the allegations in question, including notifying the Erie County District Attorney’s office. In addition, diocesan attorneys reached out to the attorneys for the plaintiffs, and the Diocese confronted each of the accused priests, all of whom denied ever committing any acts of abuse," said the diocese in a statement.

Fr. Kowalczyk, Fr. Dobson, and Fr. Nycz were accused by the same person, "whose attorney informed the Diocese that his client would not cooperate with the investigation or provide information beyond the general accusation."