Bishop ‘profoundly sorry’ for abuse cases

OBSERVER Staff Report

In a video message released on Friday, the bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo said he is “profoundly sorry for the tremendous pain” of those who were abused by a number of priests in the Catholic Church in recent decades.

“As bishop of this diocese, I apologize to you,” said the Rev. Richard J. Malone. “I ask you to come forward to law enforcement and to the diocese so that we can help you.”

It has been a tumultuous month for the diocese, which has seen a number of people come forward in the last four weeks to discuss instances when they were abused in the past. On Tuesday, a list of 42 priests was distributed to the media naming those tied to the diocese who had been accused of sexual abuse in the Buffalo diocese.

In the last two days, two more names in the list were tied to northern Chautauqua County have surfaced. The Rev. Thomas McCarthy was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for a short time in 1980. Also, the Rev. Edward J. Walker had a tenure at St. Joseph’s Church in Fredonia before leaving abruptly in 1965.

“This list has likely triggered feelings of great distress and even betrayal,” Malone said. “I share those emotions. Please know that your priests feel the same way. … All our priests are greatly distressed.”

Those on the list who served in Chautauqua County churches at various times over the last several decades included: The Rev. Donald S. Fafinski, the Rev Francis T. Hogan, the Rev. Loville Martlock, the Rev. Martin L. Pavlock, the Rev. Timothy J. Kelley, the Rev. John R. Aurelio, the Rev. Chester S. Stachewicz, the Rev. Thomas L. Kemp, the Rev. John P. Hajduk, the Rev. Joseph P. Friel, the Rev. Mark Friel, the Rev. James H. Cotter and the Rev. James A. Spielman.

Other names released included: Other names released Tuesday by the Diocese include: Donald W. Becker, David M. Bialkowski, Robert J. Biesinger (died 2012), Douglas F. Faraci, Fred G. Fingerle (died 2002), Michael R. Freeman (died 2010), Thomas G. Gresock, Michael J. Harrington (died 1989), Brian M. Hatrick, James F. Hayes (died 1988), Louis J. Hendricks (died 1990), J. Grant Higgins (died 2016), Fred D. Ingalls, Florian A. Jasinski (died 1983), Gerald C. Jasinski, Richard P. Judd (died 1988), Richard J. Keppeler (died 2011), John D. Lewandowski (died 1982), Bernard M. Mach (died 2004), Thomas J. McCarthy, Basil A. Ormsby (died 1997), Norbert F. Orsolits, Roy K. Ronald (died 2013), Joseph E. Schieder (died 1996), Gerard A. Smyczynski (died 1999), Edward J. Walker (died 2002), William G. Ward (died 2008), William F. J. White (died 2016) and Robert W. Wood.

Malone, during the Easter season, called on parishioners “to keep the faith, which I know right now might be pretty strained. The Diocese of Buffalo is committed to correcting the mistakes and sins of the past while we continue to assist victims.”

Those seeking assistance are being urged to call 716-895-3010.

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