Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish Closings Across WNY

There are 59681 comments on the WGRZ Buffalo story from Oct 14, 2007, titled Buffalo Diocese Announces More Parish Closings Across WNY. In it, WGRZ Buffalo reports that:

The Diocese of Buffalo's "Journey of Faith and Grace" has led to the closings of more parishes across Western New York.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WGRZ Buffalo.

Hierarchy

AOL

#28353 Nov 6, 2009
oops wrote:
<quoted text>
What is a 'manager' in the church hierarchy? Yes, pedophiles will always be priests...inactive, I hope.
In corporate terms, the bishop "manages" his priests - or should.

In Buffalo we see a clear lack of proper management.
Head

United States

#28354 Nov 6, 2009
Give me Head wrote:
<quoted text>
And one always had recourse to Canonical counsel to counteract Head. Besides, there was Mansell and Kmiec AFTER Head, so why, if Head was the reason, is a man STILL out of ministry?
Your hypothesis falls short.
your name says it all.
o wise one

United States

#28355 Nov 6, 2009
Give me Head wrote:
<quoted text>
And one always had recourse to Canonical counsel to counteract Head. Besides, there was Mansell and Kmiec AFTER Head, so why, if Head was the reason, is a man STILL out of ministry?
Your hypothesis falls short.
...so then, why has noone any knowledge of wrongdoing by Gressock, o so wise one?
Wrong doing

AOL

#28356 Nov 6, 2009
o wise one wrote:
<quoted text>...so then, why has noone any knowledge of wrongdoing by Gressock, o so wise one?
Just because there is a lack of info, doesn't mean there can be made a definitive conclusion.

Ever hear of "sub secreto?"

Ever hear of paying a party off to make a situation go away?

Ever hear of "just disappear" and everything will be alright?

I am not saying any of the above are definitive.

Rather, I question why, if Head was the problem, after having two subsequent bishops is the guy still out of ministry?

It would appear, by the evidence and theory you yourself offer, that Head was not the problem in this case.
Wise One Replies

AOL

#28357 Nov 6, 2009
o wise one wrote:
<quoted text>...so then, why has noone any knowledge of wrongdoing by Gressock, o so wise one?
Just because there is a lack of info, doesn't mean there can be made a definitive conclusion.

Ever hear of "sub secreto?"

Ever hear of paying a party off to make a situation go away?

Ever hear of "just disappear" and everything will be alright?

I am not saying any of the above are definitive.

Rather, I question why, if Head was the problem, after having two subsequent bishops is the guy still out of ministry?

It would appear, by the evidence and theory you yourself offer, that Head was not the problem in this case; rather, the problem - whatever it was - has to do with the priest and not the bishop. Two other bishops could have placed him back in ministry and, according to your theory, he should have accepted their offer if Head was the problem.

It would also be interesting to know if we are paying Gressock with diocesan money all these years for doing nothing.
anonymosu

Buffalo, NY

#28358 Nov 6, 2009
Feddup wrote:
I was talking to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people who had talked to some people
oh trolly one...everyone knows that you are not the "real" Feddup but do keep trying to throw people off your trail if you must. The smart bloggers can see right thru your mask
Really

AOL

#28359 Nov 6, 2009
Head wrote:
<quoted text>your name says it all.
And when your logic falls short, you resort to ad hominem.

Get in line for the next ordination if you are not already ontologically changed for the worse.
o wise one

United States

#28360 Nov 6, 2009
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
And when your logic falls short, you resort to ad hominem.
Get in line for the next ordination if you are not already ontologically changed for the worse.
i am otherwise challenged Mary Ann
Head

United States

#28361 Nov 6, 2009
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
And when your logic falls short, you resort to ad hominem.
Get in line for the next ordination if you are not already ontologically changed for the worse.
and so am I
Answer

AOL

#28362 Nov 6, 2009
Well, answer the questions.

I guess I hit the nail on the HEAD, so to speak, reagrding the Gressock case.

The questions seem to indicate that it wasn't Bp Head.
Anonymous

Lancaster, NY

#28363 Nov 6, 2009
I think "O Wise One" (as you put it) is actually quite wise. This blogger often hits the nail on the head.
The last Line

AOL

#28364 Nov 6, 2009
READ THE LAST LINE

December 21, 1993

The Rev. John R. Aurelio has told Niagara County law enforcement officials that he and the Rev. Bernard M. Mach sodomized young boys 15 to 20 years ago in an East Aurora house they once shared.

Father Aurelio, the spiritual director of Christ the King Seminary for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, told authorities that he and Father Mach drank alcohol and smoked marijuana with young boys and then participated in acts of sodomy with them, according to three Niagara County sources close to the case.

Both priests today were placed on leaves of absences.

"In view of the recent developments, including new allegations and threats (to Father Mach), Bishop Edward D. Head has placed Father Mach and FatherAurelio on leaves of absence for their personal safety and to permit the diocesan investigation to continue," said Terrence M. Connors, attorney for the diocese.

Niagara County investigators recently approached Father Aurelio, 56, because of accusations about his friend, Father Mach, 55. During that interview, Father Aurelio told law enforcement officials about the incidents 15 to 20 years ago. He said that the boys, whose ages ranged from 12 to 14, "came on to them" and that he and Father Mach initially refused to participate in the acts, according to sources close to the investigation.

Father Aurelio, who is well known for writing children's Christian storybooks, explained to law enforcement officials that he and Father Mach were just out of the seminary at the time and "sexually naive," a source said.

"This disclosure (by Father Aurelio) tends to give credibility to the most recent allegation (the civil lawsuit) because of past similar conduct, although the disclosure is beyond the statute of limitations and cannot be used in this most recent case," a law enforcement official close to the case said.

A Lockport couple and their 14-year-old son filed a $ 2.9 million civil lawsuit Dec. 9 against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and Father Mach, claiming the priest sexually abused the boy two years ago in the rectory of St. Mary's Catholic Church, where Father Mach is pastor.

But Father Aurelio also told Niagara County investigators that Father Mach did not sexually abuse the Lockport boy.

Father Mach has adamantly maintained he is innocent of that claim and said he is willing to take a lie detector test.

The diocese also conducted an investigation into the complaint last spring and found no evidence to substantiate the claim.
The next day

AOL

#28365 Nov 6, 2009
THE REPORT THE NEXT DAY HAS AN ADMISSION

December 22, 1993

LOCKPORT Three men have come forward, emboldened by the accusations of a Lockport couple that a parish priest had sexually abused their 12-year-old-son, with new accusations that two prominent Catholic priests sodomized them when they were boys.

The three men went separately to Niagara County law enforcement officials after The Buffalo News reported a Lockport couple's claim that their son had been sexually abused by one of the priests.

The men told the officials that, when they were in their early teens 15 or 20 years ago, the Revs. John R. Aurelio and Bernard M. Mach sodomized them in an East Aurora house the two priests shared. Meanwhile, an East Aurora man has linked both priests to child pornography that was delivered to a home they once shared.

The Niagara County investigators said Tuesday that they are taking the allegations of the three men seriously because the incidents occurred on separate occasions and "had the same pattern of seduction." The three men apparently did not know one another, according to law enforcement and other officials involved in the case, who added that the men's ages at the time of the alleged incidents ranged from 12 to 14. Armed with those statements, Niagara County law enforcement officials late last week traveled to a Lake Erie cottage that the two priests now share in the Town of Brant and confronted them.

At that point, Father Aurelio admitted that he and Father Mach had sodomized young boys 15 to 20 years ago, sources said.

"This is very difficult for me, but what you said is true," answered Father Aurelio, nearly in tears, according to sources.

Father Aurelio, the spiritual director of Christ the King Seminary for the diocese, insisted Father Mach is innocent of the recent allegations by the Lockport youngster. He also said that he and Father Mach were sexually naive when the 12- and 14-year-old boys "came on" to them at the home the two priests once shared in East Aurora. Also Tuesday, a member of the family that later purchased the East Aurora home said child pornography addressed to the two priests arrived at the house after it was sold. One mailing was to Father Aurelio and the other was to Father Mach, although their clerical titles were not on the mailing labels, the family member said.
DIOCESAN STATEMENT

AOL

#28366 Nov 6, 2009
April 2, 2002

Six Buffalo-area priests who were accused of pedophilia in the past decade were forced out of the priesthood, the Buffalo Catholic Diocese says.

Church officials initially used terms like "out-of-state treatment," "medical leave," "suspension" and "retirement" to describe their fates.

But none of them is now functioning as a priest, said Kevin A. Keenan, director of communications for the diocese.

"All have had their faculties (priestly authority) permanently removed," Keenan said.

He added that no priest during the past 20 years was merely transferred to another assignment when there was "credible evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior with children.

Monsignor Robert J. Cunningham, chancellor of the diocese, said during an interview in February that a total of "12 to 15 priests have been accused of sexual impropriety in the last 20 years. Not all of those cases involved children, he said.

The diocese will not say how the remaining cases -- other than the six that became public -- were handled.
How diocese sees it

AOL

#28367 Nov 6, 2009
Buffalo News
April 2, 2002
Six Buffalo-area priests who were accused of pedophilia in the past decade were forced out of the priesthood, the Buffalo Catholic Diocese says.

Church officials initially used terms like "out-of-state treatment," "medical leave," "suspension" and "retirement" to describe their fates.

But none of them is now functioning as a priest, said Kevin A. Keenan, director of communications for the diocese.
"All have had their faculties (priestly authority) permanently removed," Keenan said.

He added that no priest during the past 20 years was merely transferred to another assignment when there was "credible evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior with children.

Monsignor Robert J. Cunningham, chancellor of the diocese, said during an interview in February that a total of "12 to 15 priests have been accused of sexual impropriety in the last 20 years. Not all of those cases involved children, he said.

The diocese will not say how the remaining cases -- other than the six that became public -- were handled.

In Buffalo, of the six priests accused publicly of sexual abuse and forced to leave the priesthood, only one became the target of a criminal investigation. A grand jury did not indict the priest, apparently for lack of evidence.

In the other five cases, the accusations were so old that the statute of limitations -- five years -- had run out, sources indicated.

Cunningham also stressed, "To our knowledge, there are no pedophile priests working in the Buffalo Diocese."

Cunningham has said he is not aware that the diocese has ever reported allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests to police.

Cases against priests

In the Buffalo Diocese, lay people and clergy were shocked in 1993 when two well-known priests were accused of sexual attacks on teenagers.

The initial allegation involved the Rev. Bernard M. Mach, former pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Lockport, in December of that year.

He was accused of showing pornographic movies to a 12-year-old boy and forcing himself on the boy in the parish rectory in 1991.
Once the case became public, it unleashed a series of other complaints against Mach and his friend, the Rev. John R. Aurelio, author of several children's books with a Christian theme. Other young men came forward, claiming the priests had abused them as teens years earlier in an East Aurora home.
DIOCESAN STATEMENT

AOL

#28368 Nov 6, 2009
The Niagara County Sheriff's Department conducted a criminal investigation into the 12-year-old's allegations against Mach. But evidence presented to a grand jury proved insufficient, and Mach was not indicted.

A $2 million civil suit against Mach and the diocese was eventually settled, but details of the settlement were never made public.

The allegations against Mach and Aurelio were followed by allegations against four other priests.
In March 1994, diocesan officials confirmed that the Rev. William F. White had been suspended a year earlier after he was accused of sexually abusing a young boy in the 1970s. After his name became public, additional allegations were made against White.

**********
Like some of the Boston priests, White was transferred in 1987 from Queen of Heaven Parish in West Seneca to St. Louis Parish in Buffalo after he was accused of bizarre behavior with two young boys in their home on the night of their father's wake.
**********
When The Buffalo News learned in 1994 of that transfer, Cunningham said that White had been evaluated by independent professionals and transferred on their recommendation because there was no evidence of physical contact with the boys.

**********
In April 1994, The News learned that the Rev. Loville N. Martlock had been placed on "medical leave" the previous October for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old boy some 20 years earlier.

In July 1994, a $2 million lawsuit was filed by Christopher Szuflita against the diocese and the Rev. Joseph Friel, accusing the priest of repeatedly molesting him in the 1960s when he was an adolescent.

In another sex abuse lawsuit against the diocese in 1995, a former Buffalo woman sued for $20 million, claiming she was repeatedly sexually attacked by the Rev. Robert J. Beisinger. The diocese settled the claim the following year with Colleen McMullin Ptak for an undisclosed sum of money.

The Buffalo Diocese indicates that these cases, plus a few more that never became public, perhaps 12 to 15 in all, are the only ones that have occurred in the last 20 years
Fr William White Story

AOL

#28369 Nov 6, 2009
11 men have accused White of abuse between 1961 & 1993 when they were teens. Placed on leave in 1993. Diocese had complaints in 1979. In 1987 the Church received more complaints when family reported he had tried to molest 2 brothers on the night of their father's wake

WHY DID IT TAKE UNTIL 1993??????????
Fr Jim Spielman Story

AOL

#28370 Nov 6, 2009
Spielman was accused in 1993 of abusing an altar boy over a four-year peiod in the 1970s. In 1994 Diocese of Buffalo paid the plaintiff $150,000 to settle the matter. Shortly after abuse was reported in 1993, Spielman resigned from the priesthood andmoved to Alaska.
Fr Loville Martlock Story

AOL

#28371 Nov 6, 2009
Placed on "medical leave" in Oct. 1993 after being accused of sexually abusing a young boy from age 8-12 beginning in 1974. At the time, Martlock was a religion teacher at Notre Dame High School. As of 2002, Martlock was retired, and living out of state, He no longer functioned as a priest.
Fr Joe Friel Story

AOL

#28372 Nov 6, 2009
Friel accused of molesting a teenage boy on several occasions. When boy and parents reported abuse to their pastor, he accused them of lying and threatened to ex-communicate them. Civil suit filed 1994. Freil died in 1995. Allegations against him weredeemed outside the statute of limitations.

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