St. Mary’s Palm Sunday Mass reconciles with sex abuse allegations

Olean Times Herald

March 26, 2018

By Tom Dinki

At least three former assistant pastors among diocese’s list of accused

Celebration and victory, as well as shame and betrayal, were the themes the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels conveyed to its parishioners at Palm Sunday Mass.

The basilica celebrated Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem by having its younger parishioners roam the aisles with palm fronds and tambourines, but also acknowledged the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s sexual abuse scandal and the revelation several former St. Mary’s priests are among the accused.

“I’m very upset,” said Lucille Shavalier, 81, of Eldred, Pa., holding a palm frond in her hand while on her way out of the basilica on Sunday.

It was St. Mary’s first Sunday Mass since the diocese on Tuesday announced the names of 42 priests who were removed from ministry, left ministry or retired after allegations they sexually abused a minor.

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