Fr. William Lanphear (Oblates) – Diocese of Buffalo

Father William Lanphear

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1963

Died: 2008

Assigned as follows:

  • Queen of Martyrs (Buffalo, NY)
  • and St. Bernard (Buffalo, NY)
  • Holy Trinity (Dunkirk, NY)
  • DeSales Catholic High School (Lockport, NY)
  • University Parish of Eastern (Ypsilanti, MI)
  • St. Joseph Hospital (Ann Arbor, MI)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father William Lanphear:

Father William Lanphear was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo. After serving in several parishes, in 1985, he became a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and professed perpetual vows in 1990. He died in June 2008.

According to media reports, in the 1990s, a man reported an allegation of sexual abuse by Father Lanphear.  In 2018, he accepted a settlement from the Diocese of Buffalo for the abuse. In September 2019, in a lawsuit filed under the Child Victims Act, Father Lanphear was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old teenager from 1971 to 1974, at St. Bernard Parish. 

His name was not on the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor. His name became public when a diocese document was leaked to a news station. It revealed that in June 2018, a Diocesan Review Board was investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct against him. The document included the names of 100 priests. According to diocesan officials, a priest’s name will be added to the list, only if a second credible allegation is reported.

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.