Msgr. James Hayes – Diocese of Buffalo

Monsignor James P. Hayes

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1929

Died: 1988

Assigned as follows:

  • 1948                St. Thomas More (Ripley, NY) (Buffalo Missionary Apostolate, Missionary)
  • 1949-1953      Ascension (North Tonawanda, NY)
  • 1954               Absent on sick leave; St. Francis Hospital (Miami Beach, FL)
  • 1955               Absent on sick leave; Kenmore Mercy Hospital (Kenmore, NY)
  • 1956-1966      Ascension (North Tonawanda, NY)
  • 1967-1970      Our Lady of Victory (Frewsburg, NY)
  • 1971-1988      All Saints (Buffalo, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor James P. Hayes:

In 1948, the diocese assigned Monsignor James P. Hayes to St. Thomas More in Ripley where he was in charge of the Buffalo Missionary Apostolate. He died in November 1988.  According to media reports, in March 2018, Father 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, a woman file a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act, alleging that Monsignor Hayes started molesting her when she was 8 years old while a student at All Saints in Riverside. She said the abuse continued through her eighth grade year.

The woman said Monsignor Hayes would pull her aside in the hallways of All Saints School and kiss her. First, it was on the cheek. Later, it was on her mouth.

“I was a kid,” she said. “I was innocent.”

By the time she was in the fifth grade, she said, the Monsignor Hayes would make her come to his office in the back of the church. He would force her to sit on his lap and molest her with his hands. She also said he forced her to perform oral sex.

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.