Update on priests placed on administrative leave

Thu, Jun 28th 2018 04:00 pm

The Diocese of Buffalo has released the following update regarding priests placed on administrative leave:

On June 27, the Diocesan Review Board met and received the report of Investigator Scott F. Riordan* who was asked to investigate recent allegations of abuse against three (3) priests of the Diocese of Buffalo. Previously, the Diocesan Review Board has reviewed the report of an investigation conducted by Dennis C. Vacco*, regarding allegations made against Rev. Dennis A. Fronczak. 

As a result of these reports and the recommendations of the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Richard J. Malone has made the following determinations:

Allegations against Rev. Samuel J. Venne, Rev. Arthur J. Smith and Rev. Dennis A. Fronczak have been substantiated and they will remain on administrative leave while the results of the Diocesan investigation are reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, who will make the final determination.

Allegations against Rev. Dennis G. Riter have not been substantiated and he has returned to active ministry. 

In addition, Bishop Malone has placed the following priests on administrative leave until the completion of a preliminary investigation regarding  a complaint of abuse against each of the following: 

  1. Rev. Pascal D. Ipolito, retired
  2. Rev. Daniel J. Palys, retired
  3. Rev. Roy Herberger, retired
  4. Rev. Robert A. Stolinski, retired

Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply that any determination has been made as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.

We continue to pray for all victims of abuse. If you have a complaint of abuse by a priest, please contact Jackie Joy, our Victim Assistance Coordinator, who can be reached at (716) 895-3010.

*Mr. Riordan is a former Assistant District Attorney, who was the Assistant Chief of the Sexual Assault Bureau in the Erie County District Attorney's Office, and is currently a Village Justice in the Village of Kenmore, New York.

*Mr. Vacco is the former New York State Attorney General and United States Attorney for the Western District of New York.


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