Fr. James Smyka – Diocese of Buffalo

Fr. James Smyka

Diocese of Buffalo (Franciscans) 

James Smyka Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1973

Assigned as Follows:

  • Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital (Syracuse, NY)
  • St. Francis High School (Hamburg, NY)
  • Chaplain at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital (Johnstown, PA)
  • St. Stanislaus Basilica (Chicopee, MA)
  • St. Michael the Archangel Church (Bridgeport, CT)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Smyka: 

In November of 2018, The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo named a Syracuse priest on its updated list of clergyman with substantiated allegations of child sex abuse. Father James Smyka was the priest who was added to the list, but no specific information was released about the allegations against him or the number of alleged victims. Finally, in August of 2019, a lawsuit was filed against him under the Child Victims Act in New York. According to the lawsuit, Father Smyka was accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy, along with two other priests at St. Francis High School in Hamburg during the 1970’s. The victim alleged that the abuse occurred in front of an audience of 15-20 other priests in a shower room, and it continued on until he was 8-years-old. The other two priests who are named in the lawsuit along with Smyka are Father Aurelian Brzezniak and Father Patrick Mendola. The complaint also states that afterward, the three priests would try to console the victim as he cried, only to sexually abuse him again at least 15 more times in a single night. Both Medola and Brzezniak are listed as deceased, and Smyka was documented as living at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Syracuse, until recently. His current whereabouts since leaving the church are unknown. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at