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Dunkirk

The Rev. Dennis G. Riter, a Dunkirk pastor who was accused of sex abuse in two Child Victims Act lawsuits despite a Buffalo Diocese investigation that cleared him of the claims, died Saturday in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 74. Riter was the longtime pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Dunkirk. He was the first active priest in the Buff…

Obituaries

Nov. 3, 1927 – Feb. 2, 2020 John E. Derbyshire, spokesman for the Buffalo District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1980s and 1990s, died Feb. 2 in Syracuse after a two-year illness. He was 92. In his broad-brimmed hat, he became a familiar figure on television in 1986 as he reported regularly on the monthlong effort to remove a runaway 250-ton barge…

Education

Christ the King Seminary, which for 163 years trained men to become Catholic priests, will be shut down in May at the end of the current academic year, as the Buffalo Diocese slashes costs amid a clergy sex abuse scandal that’s led to a dramatic downturn in giving. The Rev. Kevin Creagh, seminary rector and president, announced the decision on campus this afternoon to f…

Local News

The new head of Catholic Charities of Buffalo said he repeatedly reminds the public that the nonprofit and the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo are separate entities and urges prospective donors not to take out their frustrations over the clergy sex abuse scandal on the many people who rely on their contributions. Steven R. Schumer took over as president and CEO of the organ…

Courts

Seven St. Mary's High School students had sexual contact with a female student in a boys' locker room four years ago, and the school responded by expelling the girl instead of calling police, according to a new Child Victims Act lawsuit filed Friday. The plaintiff, who was not identified in public records, alleged in the lawsuit that she was a minor who was left unsuper…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Diocese ended its 2019 fiscal year $5 million in the red, due primarily to a big decline in donations amid a scandal over clergy sexual abuse from decades ago. Donations in 2019 fell by nearly a third compared to 2018, according to a Buffalo News analysis of the diocese’s latest financial statements. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is “imminent,” the dioce…

Education

American sociologist Christian S. Smith is scheduled to deliver a lecture titled "Why Believe in Universal Human Dignity? Rethinking the Concept for a Likely Dark Future," at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in the Grupp Fireside Lounge of the Student Center at Canisius College. Smith is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, where he also se…

Buffalo

A gym teacher who left a Catholic school in South Buffalo in the 1960s after being accused of molesting a boy moved to another parochial school a mile away, according to the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit filed against the Buffalo Diocese. John Maloney of West Seneca said Robert F. “Ollie” Weber left St. Thomas Aquinas parochial school shortly after his parents complaine…

Amherst

A second allegation of sexual abuse of a child has been filed against a Catholic priest who was recently returned to ministry by the Buffalo Diocese after it ruled a prior complaint was unsubstantiated. The diocese allowed the Rev. Paul M. Nogaro to resume practicing as a priest on Jan. 17, after saying it was unable to substantiate the allegations made against him in a…

Courts

An 87-year-old Erie County man is suing the Buffalo Diocese, alleging that he was abused in the early 1940s by a Catholic priest and two nuns at a Catholic school in Silver Creek. The man claimed in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Erie County State Supreme Court that Monsignor Edmund O’Connor and Sister Mary and Sister Veronica “engaged in unpermitted, forcible and harmful …

Courts

A Buffalo priest who was accused in a Child Victims Act lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy in the 1980s is firing back with a lawsuit of his own that alleges his accuser lied about the abuse and slandered the priest. The Rev. Roy T. Herberger, former longtime pastor of SS. Columba & Brigid Church, filed the defamation suit Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Erie Count…

Courts

Two Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing a child have been returned to their ministries after an investigation by the Buffalo Diocese was unable to substantiate the allegations against them, the diocese announced Friday. Monsignor Peter J. Popadick and the Rev. Paul M. Nogaro were taken off administrative leave after the person who complained about them refused …

Buffalo

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, who will turn 75 in February, has written to Pope Francis asking for permission to retire, according to Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Buffalo Diocese. “He told me that he sent a letter to the Holy See,” Scharfenberger said when asked recently about Grosz’s status. “It’s customary for a bishop to … put i…

Buffalo

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger sought to assure donors that gifts to this year’s Catholic Charities appeal will be used for services and programs to benefit the needy, even as he acknowledged the Buffalo Diocese could pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to settle more than 225 Child Victims Act lawsuits that have been filed against it since August. Catholic Chariti…