Another priest with local ties placed on leave after allegations of abuse
By Scott Desmit
May 1, 2018
BATAVIA — Another priest who once served in Batavia has been placed on leave after allegations of sexual abuse were made to the Diocese of Buffalo.
The Rev. Samuel J. Venne, who once served at St. Anthony’s Church, was placed on administrative leave after Bishop Richard J. Malone received an abuse complaint,” the diocese announced on its website last week. Venne is believed to have been with St. Anthony’s in the 1970s. He also served as a chaplain and scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts.
The diocese and Malone also placed Rev. Arthur Smith on leave as an investigation continues.
Venne is a retired priest who still serves at St. Stephen’s Parish in Grand Island. Smith serves at Blessed Mother of Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew.
“In both cases, please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint,” Malone wrote on the website.
Venne is the 16th priest with connections to Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties who in recent weeks have been named as being accused of sexual abuse.
The diocese in March released a list of 42 priests, many retired or dead, who had been accused since the 1950s. A law firm representing victims of priest abuse also released information about priests in the diocese, with more detailed information about the allegations.
The allegations against Venne and Smith did not include when and where the alleged abuse happened.