Bishop Head Issues Statement on Allegations

Buffalo News
December 22, 1993

Bishop Edward D. Head issued this statement late Tuesday regarding the Revs. Bernard Mach and John Aurelio:

"New and different allegations have been recently made regarding Father Bernard Mach. Similar allegations have now been made regarding Father John Aurelio. Threats against the personal safety of Father Mach have also been made.

"Under the circumstances, in order to allow the firestorm of controversy to subside and to permit the diocese to perform a complete investigation of the new allegations, Father Mach and Father Aurelio have been placed on a leave of absence. This does not mean that the diocese has made a final judgment as to their guilt or innocence. It means only that serious accusations have been made and that more information needs to be obtained before further action can be taken.

"When allegations of this sort are made, there is always the emotional reaction. The diocese, as investigator, has a difficult balance to strike between its responsibility to those who make the complaint about our priests and its responsibility to the priests themselves.

"The Diocese of Buffalo has an investigative procedure in place that is designed to strike just that balance. But no procedure is equipped to deal with anonymous, faceless complaints and until the most recent allegations and developments surfaced, that was all the diocesan investigators had to work with, except for what appeared and continues to appear to be unsupported and unfounded allegations made by a family in support of a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Allegations, I might add, that have been rejected by a grand jury that investigated this matter from a civil perspective.

"Now that new allegations have surfaced, our investigation will continue."


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