BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A scandal-ridden New York diocese is suspending three more priests accused of sex abuse.
Buffalo's diocese announced in a Saturday press release that Fr. Adolph Kowalczyk, pastor at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park; the now-retired Fr. Gregory Dobson, assisting priest at several parishes across the diocese; and Fr. Mieczyslaw (Matt) Nycz, pastor at SS. Peter and Paul in Williamsville, are being placed on administrative leave after a man accused all three of sexually abusing him in the 1990s.
The diocese's statement reads:
Upon learning of the complaint, the diocese notified the Erie County district attorney's office, reached out to the attorney for the plaintiff and confronted the three accused priests, all of whom deny ever committing any acts of abuse. The diocese also reported the matter to the Independent Review Board, which will be responsible for appointing an independent investigator.
The accuser wishes to remain anonymous. He did not file a complaint with the diocese's victims' assistance coordinator. The diocese claims it reached out to the plaintiff's attorney to see how willing the victim is to cooperate with further investigation into his claims.
According to the statement, Bp. Michael Fisher emphasized, "The decision to place the priests on administrative leave at this time is in no way intended to indicate their guilt or any determination about the truth or falsity of the complaint."
Fisher was appointed in December and faced scrutiny for his ties to now-laicized ex-cardinal and homosexual predator Theodore McCarrick — as well as his connection to Cdl. Donald Wuerl, who helped cover up sexual abuse on multiple occasions.
He replaces Bp. Richard Malone, who resigned in 2019 amid growing scrutiny. Malone notoriously covered up rampant sex abuse across the Buffalo diocese. He is accused of shuffling clerical sex abusers and even blackmailing victims who came forward.
He is currently in an ongoing legal battle with the state of New York.
The state's attorney general, Letitia James, filed a lawsuit in November against the diocese, Bp. Malone and two other bishops for covering up allegations of clerical sex abuse while using charitable funds to protect accused priests. The suit includes 25 case studies on how the diocese mishandled sexual abuse allegations.
"The Buffalo diocese failed to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by priests," she stated. "Instead, they covered up credible claims and protected the accused priests by deeming them 'unassignable' or allowing them to retire or go on purported medical leave."
In March of 2020, the scandal-ridden diocese filed for bankruptcy protection, enabling it to shelter not only financial assets but also many facts about abusive priests.
The bankruptcy filing came in February 2020, following an avalanche of clerical sex abuse claims after New York passed its Child Victims Act, a law that created a window for reporting child sex-abuse from the distant past, typically outside the statute of limitations.
Regardless of the disarray in the diocese, faithful Catholics struggle to trust a bishop with Fisher's background — leaving Buffalo's faithful feeling hopeless as they watch their diocese crumble from public scandal and past corruption.