Two Buffalo Priests Reassigned Despite Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Two priests in the Diocese of Buffalo who had previously been removed from ministry for “unwanted sexual advances” towards adult parishioners have been reassigned, leading to outrage from area parishioners.

The simple question is, why take the risk? If these men have violated their sacred vow of celibacy and crossed personal boundaries in the past, how do we know that they will not do it again or with a more impressionable or pliable victim?

An internal diocesan review apparently determined that Frs. Gatto and Giangreco were suitable to return to ministry. But did that ministry need to be at a parish with a school? Are there not other diocesan tasks that would have better suited a person with a history of sexual misconduct? Surely there were more appropriate assignments?

We understand the confusion of parents in Buffalo and empathize with them. Hopefully their outcries in this case will lead to a change in how Church officials evaluate placement for clergy when their “improper conduct did not rise to the level that would require removal from active priestly ministry,” and will force them to be more thoughtful about these cases in the future.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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