Fr. John Aurelio – Diocese of Buffalo

Father John Aurelio

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1966

Removed: 2003

Died: 2009

Assigned as follows:

  • 1967                St. Helen (Hinsdale, NY)
  • 1968                Cardinal Mindszenty High School (Dunkirk, NY)
  • 1969                St. Leo (Amherst, NY)
  • 1970-1975      West Seneca State School (West Seneca, NY)
  • 1976-1981      St. Catherine of Siena (West Seneca, NY)
  • 1982-1986      West Seneca Development Center (West Seneca, NY)
  • 1987-1990      St. John the Evangelist (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1991                Unknown
  • 1991-1993      Christ the King Seminary (East Aurora, NY)
  • 1994                Absent on leave
  • 1995-1998      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Aurelio:

According to media reports, in December 1993, Father John Aurelio admitted to authorities that he and Father Bernard M. Mach engaged in acts of sodomy with young boys in the 1970s. The boys were ages 12-14 and abused in an East Aurora house the two priests shared. Father Aurelio admitted to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with them and claimed the boys seduced him. 

Father Aurelio, well known for writing children’s Christian storybooks, told  law enforcement officials that he and Father Mach were just out of the seminary at the time and “sexually naive,” a source said.

Police believed that the priests targeted troubled youth, as they all came from broken homes and parents suffering with alcoholism. 

Father Aurelio was also accused of abusing a mentally disabled resident at West Seneca Development Center. Both priests were suspended in 2003. They were not charged because the statute of limitations had expired.

It is believed that Father Aurelio moved to Venice, Florida after being suspended. He no longer functioned as a priest, and lived there until his death in August 2009.

In March 2018, Father Aurelio’s name was included in the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests who “were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” No information regarding the allegations was disclosed, however, the list includes deceased priests only if they have more than one allegation. 

In August 2019, Father Aurelio was named in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act. The suit alleges that he abused an 11-year old boy in 1968 St. Gerard’s in Buffalo.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Buffalo, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to to discuss your options today.