Monsignor James Kelly
Diocese of Buffalo
- St. Nicholas (Buffalo, NY)
- St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church (Buffalo, NY)
- The Diocesan Educational Campus (Buffalo, NY)
- St. John’s Parish (Olean, NY)
- St. Margaret’s Parish (Buffalo, NY)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Monsignor James Kelly
On June 30, 2021, the Diocese of Buffalo placed Msgr. James Kelly on administrative leave after learning Msgr. Kelly allegedly abused two minors during his career. According to the complaints—which were filed under New York’s Child Victim Act— the abuse involved two minors—one in the 1980s and the other in the 2000s.
2005-2007 Allegation and Lawsuit
In June 2021, the Diocese of Buffalo says while searching through publicly filed complaints, it found one filed against Msgr. James Kelly. “From approximately 2005 to 2007, when Plaintiff was approximately nine to ten years old, Msgr. Kelly engaged in unpermitted sexual contact with the Plaintiff,” the complaint reads.
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Buffalo said the diocese reported the matter to the Erie County District Attorney and the Independent Review Board.
1980-1982 Allegation and Lawsuit
As the Diocese of Buffalo learned of Msgr. Kelly alleged abuse in 2005, another suit accusing the priest of sexual abuse was filed. According to the complaint, “when the plaintiff was approximately 8 to 10 years old, Rev. Msgr. Kelly engaged in unpermitted sexual contact with the plaintiff.”
From 1980 to 1982, the plaintiff says they were a student at St. Nicholas and St. Benedict the Moor—where Msgr. Kelly was assigned.
Both suits are still pending, and updates are not available at this time.
Msgr. James Kelly’s Career
Ordained in 1962, Msgr. James Kelly served for nearly 60 years. Although retired, Msgr. Kelly continued to assist in parish ministry. Despite the ongoing litigation and Msgr. Kelly’s leave, the Diocese of Buffalo reinstated him in October 2021.
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