GoFundMe campaign seeks to raise $5,000 for accused priest

The Buffalo News

August 29, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

An online effort to raise money for a Buffalo Diocese priest accused of inappropriate conduct with a child has resulted in three donations totaling $450.

A GoFundMe campaign that began in May on behalf of the Rev. Arthur J. Smith seeks to raise $5,000.

Bishop Richard J. Malone’s handling of the allegations against Smith, 72, are at the center of a firestorm of calls for Malone to resign.

Malone returned Smith to ministry in the Buffalo Diocese and wrote the priest a glowing recommendation for ministry outside the diocese, despite complaints from a school principal who had accused Smith of inappropriate “grooming” behavior with a male elementary student.

Without explanation, former Bishop Edward U. Kmiec removed Smith in 2012 as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Hamburg. Under Malone, Smith returned to limited ministry, and not as a pastor, until this past April, when he was put on administrative leave due to a child sex abuse allegation. A diocesan investigation determined that the allegation was substantiated, and Smith was removed from ministry in June.

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