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News Press Release

Bishop Michael W. Fisher Reinstates Two Priests


Independent Review Board Finds Allegations to Be Unsubstantiated 

(Buffalo, NY) – Following independent investigations and review and recommendation by the Independent Review Board of the Diocese of Buffalo concerning allegations which have been determined to be unsubstantiated, Bishop Michael W. Fisher has accepted the IRB’s recommendations and has reinstated Reverend Robert J. Schober (71) and Reverend Msgr. Leo McCarthy (90), both of whom were previously placed on Administrative Leave. Both priests are retired, however are able to assist with priestly ministry. 

The Diocese followed its rigorous policies and protocols in dealing with the allegations in question, including notifying the Erie County District Attorney’s office, which declined to act on any of the allegations. In addition, Diocesan attorneys reached out to the attorneys for the plaintiffs to gain the cooperation of the plaintiffs in the investigation. The plaintiffs declined to cooperate with the IRB’s investigation. The Diocese also confronted both priests with the allegations, each of whom denied ever committing any acts of abuse. They further participated in the investigations and appeared before the Independent Review Board. 

The Diocese of Buffalo encourages any person who wishes to report an instance of sexual abuse or sexual harassment by a member of the clergy, diocesan employee or volunteer to contact the Victims Assistance Coordinator at (716)-895-3010 or Jacqueline.joy@ccwny.org. For a more extensive overview of resources, go to: https://www.buffalodiocese.org/abuse-response/