BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Buffalo is the first diocese outside of Pennsylvania to be under federal investigation — although they have multiple ties to each other.
While the federal probe into seven Pennsylvania dioceses was announced Thursday, the diocese of Buffalo the same day admitted it had been under federal investigation since June. A statement by the diocese issued Thursday night reads:
Several months ago, we received a call from the local U.S. Attorney's office with a request to review documents. A subpoena was provided and after some discussion, an agreement was reached to produce documents. We have heard nothing since early June. As far as we know, our response has nothing to do with the current Pennsylvania investigation that has just begun.
Homoclerical sex abuse has been rampant in Buffalo as it has elsewhere for decades. But Buffalo has important ties to the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation, starting with a whistleblower seminarian named James Faluszczak. Faluszczak, a former Pennsylvania priest from the diocese of Erie that's under state and federal investigation, told investigators of the homosexual formators at Buffalo's Christ the King Seminary (CKS), starting with its rector, Fr. Joseph Gatto.
"I was horrified when my friend came back … [and] he proceeded to tell me that they had had sex together in Father Gatto's room in the dormitory, in the chaplain's quarters of the dorm at Christ the King," he said.
Gatto later used his authority to threaten Faluszczak into silence on a trip to Rome when he was close to ordination.
"Gatto takes me into his room [and] he said, 'I think we need to revisit the issue of whether or not you're ready to be ordained.' I was working on my ordination plans at this point. ... I was getting ready to finish a six-year seminary career and all of a sudden he's saying I think we need to revisit what happened to you in your first year here. I took it absolutely as a threat."
Faluszczak kept quiet about Gatto's homosexual predation of his fellow seminarians and went on to be ordained a priest for Erie. But when Gatto was made rector of CKS, he said it finally moved him to leave the priesthood in 2014 to fight clerical sex abuse full time.
"When Father Gatto became the rector of Christ the King Seminary," he said, "the hypocrisy of that was part of the motivation for me to leave active priestly ministry."
This account is but a part of the sworn testimony given by Faluszczak under oath to during Pennsylvania's grand jury investigation.
"My experience among the Catholic clergy, both in Buffalo and in Erie, is that they are over-sexualized, highly sexualized," he said.
And he is not alone. Beverly Malona, who was on the faculty of CKS in the 1980s and 1990s, said, "It was a hotbed of sexual activity."
She added, "These boys were told that celibacy simply means not marrying a woman. [They were told] this doesn't violate our celibacy if we touch each other, have sex with one another. And that's part of the grooming, and how you get a 13-year-old very confused."
Gatto, now the president-rector of CKS, has suddenly stepped aside amid allegations of homosexual assault. Allegations have surfaced that Gatto was homosexually grooming a young man during a counseling session. The man, Marty Lougen, has recently filed a complaint that Gatto made unwanted sexual advances towards him.