By Jay Tokasz
April 29, 2018
Members of Most Precious Blood Church in Angola were as stunned as any Catholics – and maybe more so – when the Diocese of Buffalo in March publicly named 42 priests who had been accused of child sex abuse.
The list released by Bishop Richard J. Malone included not just one priest who served in the village parish, but four. Parishioners had no idea.
“The sticker shock was the number, not that it had happened,” said longtime member Karen A. Erickson. “The sticker shock of so many in your community was what had people talking.”
What also set Most Precious Blood apart from other parishes was the span in which one accused priest after another worked in the parish for nearly 30 consecutive years.
The Rev. Fred G. Fingerle was assigned as an associate pastor there from 1967 to 1977, except for one year at another parish in 1970. Fingerle was succeeded by the Rev. John P. Hajduk from 1977 to 1982. And Hajduk was followed by Monsignor J. Grant Higgins, who served as pastor from 1983 until 1997.
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