Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 1, 2020 / 15:00 pm
The Diocese of Buffalo clarified on Friday that priests accused of sexual abuse cannot be left "destitute," even as the diocese acts to withdraw financial support payments.
The diocese had announced earlier this week that 23 priests "with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse" would no longer receive financial assistance or health benefits from the Diocese of Buffalo as of May 1. However, the diocese said that pension plans would not be affected by the decision.
Interim communications director for the diocese Greg Tucker told CNA on Friday that "the diocese recognizes that there are certain canonical obligations to ensure that these individuals are not left destitute and is addressing this."
The decision to cut benefits was made as part of the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings. The diocese had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in February after it was named in hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits in recent months; a New York law came into effect in August. 2019, waving the statute of limitations on old abuse cases for one year, allowing for lawsuits on decades-old cases to move forward in court.