Suspended priest a Dunkirk native

Observer Today

September 29, 2018

A priest who has been suspended by the Buffalo Diocese is a Dunkirk native.

According to the Buffalo Diocese, on Wednesday, the diocese received a complaint against Father Joseph C. Gatto involving an alleged sexual advance made on an adult. Bishop Richard J. Malone placed Father Gatto on administrative leave as an investigation continues.

“Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth and falsity of the complaint,” the diocese stated on its website. “We continue to pray for all victims of abuse. If you have any information specific to clerical sexual abuse you would like to share, please contact Jackie Joy, our Victim Assistance Coordinator, who can be reached at 716-895-3010.”

Gatto is an alumnus of Holy Trinity Elementary School and Cardinal Mindszety High School. In 1979 he graduated from Wadham’s Hall Seminary College, Ogdensburg and in 1982 he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest at his home parish, Holy Trinity Church on July 9, 1983. Gatto had been the president and rector of Christ the King Seminary in Amherst, which prepares men for the priesthood in the Buffalo Diocese. He is accused of making a sexual advance on an adult male in 2000. In an interview with WKBW, he denied the accusation and said he was already planning on stepping down from his position, saying he was suffering from burnout and needed to take a break.

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