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Jay Tokasz

Jay Tokasz is part of the watchdog team at The Buffalo News. He has spent 25 years in newspapers, writing on a wide range of subjects, from evidence-tampering cops to papal elections.


Business

A Chicago-based insurance company has launched an opening salvo in what are expected to be bruising legal battles between the Buffalo Diocese and its insurers over payouts on clergy sex abuse claims under the Child Victims Act and the legal costs of defending the diocese against the claims. Continental Insurance Company is arguing in court papers that insurance policies…

Local News

The Brooklyn bishop investigating the Buffalo Diocese and Bishop Richard J. Malone interviewed more than 30 people in a visit to Western New York this week. The Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement Thursday afternoon stating that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio “is determined to continue the fact-finding mission he has been directed to carry out by the Holy See.” “Both …

Local News

Michael F. Whalen Jr. wants to sit down with the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits someday and forgive the priest he says molested him when he was an impressionable boy in need of a role model. “You know, I’ve carried the pain that he caused me for 40 years. For the rest of his days, I want him to wonder why one survivor forgave him,” said Whalen, a former U.S. Army private who …

Buffalo

The Vatican directed Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn on Thursday to investigate the Buffalo Diocese through an "apostolic visitation.” A Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman released a statement saying that Bishop Richard J. Malone welcomed the visitation. “Bishop Malone has committed to cooperate fully and stated that this Visitation is for the good of th…

Deaths

Jan. 6, 1937 — Sept. 25, 2019 Mabel F. Chambers left an established career as a surgical technician in 1985 to become an attorney for the Seneca Nation of Indians, where her research and negotiations on a new land-lease deal between the nation and the City of Salamanca helped lead to the Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990. Ms. Chambers, a Seneca herself, spent six …

Buffalo

The saga of a disgraced Catholic bishop in Missouri reveals how unlikely it is that the pope would quickly force Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign over his handling of a clergy abuse scandal. In 2012, Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph became the first Catholic prelate in the country to be convicted of protecting from prosecu…

Local News

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday directed state police to increase patrols at synagogues and Jewish religious centers, following a rash of anti-Semitic incidents. Cuomo said he called for the increased patrols “out of an abundance of caution” as the state’s Jewish community embarks on a celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown on Sunday…

Local News

Bishop Richard J. Malone said Tuesday that the Diocese of Buffalo has published new policies and procedures for handling complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy and staff with adults, as well as a new code of pastoral conduct for clergy. The new documents follow a string of cases over the past year in which priests were accused of sexual misconduct with adults – inclu…

Courts

Three new lawsuits alleging child sex abuse decades ago by Buffalo Diocese priests who are who now deceased assert that those priests likely live in hell as a result of their crimes. The Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria law firm also cited Catholic Church doctrine in stating that its clients were unable to locate hell to serve the priests who molested them with a court summo…

Buffalo

In a letter to priests, Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone indicated no plans to resign, despite a poll this week that showed 86% of area Catholics wanted him to step down and a New York Times story published Wednesday that characterized him as “approaching persona non grata status in his own diocese.” Malone sent area priests this week a five-page memo in which h…

Buffalo

An overwhelming majority of area Catholics or lapsed Catholics want Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign as leader of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, a recent poll by The Buffalo News has found. Nearly 86% of the 473 Erie and Niagara county residents surveyed this weekend said they feel Malone should step down from the post he has held since 2012. Fewer than 3% of tho…

Courts

The Buffalo Diocese was still considering seeking bankruptcy protection Thursday after the neighboring Rochester Diocese took that route to deal with a landslide of lawsuits over its handling of clergy sexual abuse of children. The Rochester Diocese became the first Catholic diocese in the state to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Nineteen of the 20 largest…

Courts

The Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, stating in court papers that it will need to reorganize its financial affairs to respond to lawsuits stemming from the Child Victims Act in “an equitable and comprehensive manner.” The Rochester diocese, which encompasses 12 counties and has more than 300,000 Catholics, neighbors …

Buffalo

The pastor of one of the region’s largest and wealthiest Catholic parishes is urging fellow priests to call upon Bishop Richard J. Malone and Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz to resign and let others lead the Buffalo Diocese. The Rev. Robert Zilliox, pastor of St. Mary Church in Swormville, has contacted about 200 priests and asked them to sign a letter demanding that M…

Buffalo

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz denies threatening to block the Rev. Ryszard S. Biernat’s ordination, after Biernat complained to diocese administrators in 2004 that he was sexually assaulted by a priest, a Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman said. The Buffalo News on Sunday reported the accusation by Biernat, who also said that Grosz’s treatment of his complaint was “10 times…