Tag: J. Peter Conroy

Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher

Buffalo Bishop Lists Some Bad Jesuits But Ignores Others

A few weeks ago, on this blog, we were highly critical of the Diocese of Buffalo Catholic officials and how they’re handling abuse cases.

So let’s be charitable now and start on a high note: To its credit, unlike some other dioceses, the Buffalo Catholic diocese includes religious order offenders on its ‘credibly accused’ list.
https://buffalodiocese.org/abuse-response/

(Some church ‘accused’ lists include only diocesan clerics.)

https://buffalodiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Diocesan_Substantiate_11-5-19.pdf

This is important for many reasons, one of which is simple: many times, religious order priests, brothers, monks and seminarians have even greater access to kids than diocesan clerics, because they often work in schools or a vulnerable population.

For example, Buffalo church officials include the following Jesuit clerics on their ‘credibly accused’ list, all of whom worked at Canisius High School, college or both:

Fr. Peter Conroy

Fr. Raymond Fullam

Fr. Vincent Mooney

Fr. James Gould (who also worked at St. Ann’s parish in Buffalo)

Fr. Cornelius Carr (who also worked at St. Michael’s parish in Buffalo).

Sadly, however, that’s where the good news about the Buffalo diocese ends.

While Bishop Michael Fisher includes SOME predatory Jesuits on his list, he ignores others, even thought they too have been found to be ‘credibly accused’ by their own Jesuit supervisors.

Here are a few of them (who also were at Canisius high school or college):

Fr. Thomas F. Denny, who worked in Brooklyn, Staten Island and New York City, largely in schools (Fordham Prep in the Bronx, McQuaid Jesuit in Rochester and St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City). Twice, he spent time overseas (Nigeria and Puerto Rico).

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2021/01_02/2021_01_18_Erica_Ram_University_Murray-Weigel.htm

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/order_lists/Jesuits_Northeast/2019_01_15_Jesuits_Northeast_Credible_Allegations.pdf#page=4

Fr. John L. Farrand, who admitted molesting while in the Buffalo diocese to his church supervisors. He worked in at least three other New York locations (Rochester, Brooklyn and New York City) and overseas twice (France and Puerto Rico).

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2020/07_08/2020_07_21_Orr_LawsuitsClaim.htm

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/order_lists/Jesuits_Northeast/2019_01_15_Jesuits_Northeast_Credible_Allegations.pdf#page=6

Fr. William J. Scanlon, who was at the college between 1976 and 1980 and reportedly admitted the abuse to church officials.

Fr. Scanlon also worked in Rochester, New York City, Jersey City, the Bronx and in Nigeria. He was also on the Fordham University campus.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2021/01_02/2021_01_18_Erica_Ram_University_Murray-Weigel.htm

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/order_lists/Jesuits_Northeast/2019_01_15_Jesuits_Northeast_Credible_Allegations.pdf#page=13

As you may have noticed, the latter two clerics, Fr. Farrand and Fr. Scanlon, reportedly ADMITTED abusing. And Fr. Farrand’s abuse happened IN THE BUFFALO DIOCESE.

So how on earth do Buffalo church officials explain keeping these men off of their ‘credibly accused’ list?

And speaking of credibly accused religious order abusers, several of them who worked in Buffalo are now elsewhere. They include Thomas Marshall, James Burson, Michael Kolodziej, Linus Kopczewski, Rene Maynard, Bernard Splawski and James Smyka, all of whom are all reportedly “living outside Buffalo Diocese.”

https://buffalodiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Order-Priests.pdf

But that should be little consolation or reassurance to Buffalo area Catholics or citizens. Moving child molesters somewhere else doesn’t ‘cure’ them.

Buffalo Catholic officials would have to admit that, knowingly or unknowingly, they or their predecessors have in disputably let dangerous and potentially dangerous clerics be around and sometimes hurt innocent Buffalo area kids.

So given that fact, shouldn’t these same Buffalo Catholic officials NOW desperately want to ‘make up for’ their wrongdoing or mistakes? Shouldn’t they be anxious to prevent future harm to kids by stopping those very same dangerous or potentially dangerous priests from being around and hurting innocent kids in Massachusetts or Ohio or Texas?

Or if Buffalo church staffers can’t prevent these quiet transfers, shouldn’t they want to at least shout from the rooftops “Hey, these child molesters were here in our diocese and now they’re in your diocese. Be careful!”

But that’s not happening. Buffalo Bishop Michael Fischer won’t even use his own website to tell the public where Fr. Marshall, Fr. Burson, Fr. Maynard and the others are now living or were living when they were shipped out of Buffalo.

And how about two other ‘credibly accused’ clerics on the Buffalo diocesan list: Fr. Theodore Podson, who is reportedly “living in the Philippines,” or Fr. Benedict Barszcz, who has reportedly “returned to Poland.”

Both of these are heavily Catholic nations in which clergy sex crimes and cover ups have only begun to surface in recent years and in which, we submit, parents are even more trusting of priests and thus youngsters are even more vulnerable to the predatory ones.

What are Buffalo’s bishop and his staff doing to alert parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public in those countries to the presence of these predators?

Finally, according to BishopAccountability.org, the Buffalo diocese’s 2018 ‘credibly accused’ list “provided no information, besides (the accused) names and death years. Assignment histories were not included; nor were the number or nature of allegations detailed. . .”

There’s just one word for this vagueness: self-serving. This lack of detail helps no one but complicit church officials.

Fr. J. Peter Conroy (Jesuits) – Diocese of Buffalo

Father J. Peter Conroy

Diocese of Buffalo

J. Peter Conroy Diocese of Buffalo Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1971

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1965-1968      Canisius High School (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1972-1979      Fordham University (Bronx, NY)
  • 1981-1984      Canisius College (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1985-1994      Christ the King Retreat House (Syracuse, NY) 
  • 1994-2002      Canisius College (Buffalo, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father J. Peter Conroy:

According to media reports, in 2002, Father J. Peter Conroy, a Jesuit priest, was removed from ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of two minor sisters were reported to the Diocese of Buffalo. The alleged abuse that involved him touching, grabbing and groping the girls occurred from 1972 to 1975, while he was assigned to Fordham University. According to one victim who was in eighth grade at the time, “his hands were all over me.” 

Father Conroy, was a member of their extended family and admitted abusing the girls.

“My parents confronted him, he never denied it and said only that it happened with [us] and it never happened again,” the victim said. She went on to say that at least one other complaint was made by a young woman who encountered Father Conroy on a college campus.

After the incidents took place, Father Conroy left Fordham and was transferred to Canisius College, where he became Director of Campus Ministry. In March 2002, the family reported the abuse to the Jesuits and to the Diocese of Buffalo when one of the victims took her daughter on a college visit to Canisius and realized Father Conroy was still in ministry there. He was quickly sent to the Christ the King Retreat House, where, as of January 2019, he is still a priest.

In November 2018, Diocese of Buffalo included him on a list of priests “with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor.” He was named as accused by the Jesuits in January 2019. One of the sisters filed a lawsuit against Father Conroy and the Jesuits one month later in February.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Buffalo if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Fr. J. Peter Conroy (Jesuit priest) – Diocese of Rochester

Father J. Peter Conroy, s.j.
Diocese of Rochester/Jesuits

Fr. J. Peter Conroy Horowitz LawFr. J. Peter Conroy Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown1971
Impeded: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1962-1965: McQuaid Jesuit, Rochester, NY
  • 1968-1969: McQuaid Jesuit, Rochester, NY
  • 1969-1980: Regis High School, New York, NY

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father J. Peter Conroy:

Father J. Peter Conroy was removed from his position at Canisius College in 2002 after sexual misconduct allegations from decades earlier were reported to the Diocese of Buffalo.

Conroy admitted to “inappropriate touching and groping” of two female relatives from 1972-1976 when the girls were minors and Conroy was an ordained priest.

One victim, who lives in Rochester, was an eighth grader in the early 1970s while visiting Conroy at Fordham University, where the young priest was assigned. Conroy came into her room and, according to the victim, “his hands were all over me.”

In 2002 the victim took her daughter on a college visit to Canisius and realized Conroy was still in ministry there. Conroy was also assigned to St. Ann’s Church in Buffalo and the women heard through a relative that he was seeking a more permanent appointment there, and they felt that
there should be a notification to those people.

The sisters notified the Buffalo Diocese in March 2002 and Conroy was promptly removed.

Conroy remains a Jesuit priest and since 2002, Catholic directories list him Conroy as living
in the Jogues Retreat Center in Cornwall, New York, just south of Poughkeepsie.

Conroy’s name appeared on both the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of credibly accused priests and the list of accused priests published by the Jesuits’ Northeast province.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rochester.  The Diocese of Rochester in New York filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Rochester Diocese.  

Very strict filing deadlines have now been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.    Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.