Retired Diocese of Buffalo priest placed on administrative leave after abuse allegation surfaces

WIVB [Buffalo NY]

September 17, 2021

By Patrick Ryan

A retired priest who previously served as a chaplain at Kenmore Mercy Hospital has been placed on administrative leave by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher after an allegation of abuse has surfaced.

The allegation against Reverend Robert J. Schober, 70, came to light after informational documents filed with the federal bankruptcy court as part of the Diocese’s reorganization proceeding were forwarded to diocesan leaders.

Schober, who is not in active ministry, denied the abuse allegation in a meeting with Buffalo Diocese officials.

The Diocese has notified the Erie County District Attorney’s office and an independent review board has also been notified of the allegation. According to the Diocese, the board will work to appoint an independent investigator.

The 70-year-old is not allowed to present himself publicly as a priest or carry out any priestly ministry.

“The decision by Bishop Fisher to place Fr. Schober on administrative leave is not intended to
indicate guilt or a determination about the truth or falsity of the complaint,” a diocesan spokesperson wrote.

The exact nature of the alleged abuse is not known at this time.

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.