Diocese of Buffalo Halts Pay for 23 Catholic Priests Involved in Child Sex Abuse Cases

Legal Examiner – Saunders and Walker

May 6, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, which has recently been hit by hundreds of child sex abuse claims, has announced it will terminate pay and health benefits for 23 priests involved in the allegations. The move comes after the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late February.

The diocese is facing over 250 lawsuits alleging child sex abuse by its priests. That’s more than any other diocese in New York.

In a letter, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger explained that the termination of pay was part of an agreement reached in federal bankruptcy court with the committee representing over 200 survivors suing the diocese under New York’s Child Victims Act. Enacted on August 15, 2019, the statewide Child Victims Act opened a one-year window for survivors to sue the Catholic Church for abuse they suffered as children, despite how much time has passed.

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