Buffalo Diocese has a $48 million surplus as it prepares to pay victims


December 3, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo have been coming forward since March, when the diocese announced it would pay voluntary settlements to those who were abused.

While the bishop plans to sell his Oakland Place mansion to help pay those victims, internal church documents obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show he will need much more money than the sale of the mansion — assessed at nearly $2 million — is likely to bring in. But the church appears to have plenty of money in the bank.

An internal balance sheet from August shows the diocese has $71 million in assets and $23 million in liabilities — which leaves the church with a surplus of $48 million.

More than half of that surplus — $31 million — is undesignated for any specific use.

“They’re in strong shape,” said Michael Hoeflich, wealth manager at The Financial Guys in Amherst. “It could be cash that they have in bank accounts, savings accounts. It could be assets like property. It could be buildings, the furniture, it’s everything. And it also includes investments.”

7 Eyewitness News asked Hoelfich to look at the documents we obtained and evaluate the diocese’s finances.

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