Buffalo Diocese sets new clergy conduct code, policy on abuse complaints

Buffalo News

Sept. 25, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Bishop Richard J. Malone said Tuesday that the Diocese of Buffalo has published new policies and procedures for handling complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy and staff with adults, as well as a new code of pastoral conduct for clergy.

The new documents follow a string of cases over the past year in which priests were accused of sexual misconduct with adults – including one case currently under investigation by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler issued a statement saying the Buffalo Diocese was one of the first in the country to promulgate policies for adult misconduct.

Possible punishment for priests or deacons who violate the policy include being suspended from ministry and being dismissed from the clerical state.

Malone has been heavily criticized for allowing at least two priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct with adults to stay in ministry, including one as pastor of a large parish.

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