Fr. Norbert Orsolits – Diocese of Buffalo

Father Norbert Orsolits

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1965

Removed: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1966                St. Joseph (Bliss, NY)
  • 1967                St. John the Baptist (Alden, NY)
  • 1968                St. John the Evangelist (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1969-1970      St. John Kanty (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1971-1973      St. John Gualbertus (Cheektowaga, NY)
  • 1974                Our Lady of Czestochowa (Cheektowaga, NY)
  • 1975-1977      St. James (Depew, NY)
  • 1978                St. James (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1979                Awaiting assignment
  • 1980-1981      St. John Vianney (Orchard Park, NY)
  • 1982-1983      St. Mary of the Angels (Olean, NY)
  • 1984-1988      Sacred Heart (Portville, NY)
  • 1989                Absent on leave
  • 1990                St. Lawrence (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1991-2003      Buffalo General Hospital (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1991-1992      St. Lawrence Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1993-1995      Deaconess Hospital; St. Lawrence Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1996-2000      St.Lawrence Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 2001-2003      Hospice of Buffalo; St. Lawrence Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 2004-2016      Retired 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Norbert Orsolits:

According to media reports, in February 2018, a man held a press conference across from the Catholic Center to publicly accuse Father Norbert Orsolits of sexually abusing him in the 1980s at St. John Vianney Church in Orchard Park. The allegation ignited the 2018 sexual abuse crisis and within hours prompted Father Orsolits to confess to a Buffalo News reporter that he abused “probably dozens” of boys in the late 1970s to early 1980s. A few weeks later, Bishop Malone released a list of 42 clergy members from the Diocese of Buffalo who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

In the early 1980s, an allegation of child sexual abuse was reported to the Diocese of Buffalo. Bishop Edward D. Head sent Father Orsolits for treatment to Southdown Institute in Canada for six months. When he was cleared to return to ministry, he was reassigned to work at a rural church and high school. In 2003, he was removed from ministry. 

In March 2018, Father Orsolits’ 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 priests only if they have more than one allegation.

In August 2019, Father Orsolits was accused in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act, of sexually abusing a 13-or 14-year-old child in 1968. Another man waited 40 years to tell authorities that Father Orsolits sexually abused him as a child. 

“When Orsolits molested me, he told me, ‘Don’t tell your mom, don’t tell anyone about this,’ ” he said. “He warned me that God would punish my mom. I believed him. I was scared.”

A federal grand jury has begun investigating a potential cover-up in the churches of western upstate New York. Father Orsolits is retired and currently lives in Springfield.

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 adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.