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Bishop Fisher Features News

Diocese of Buffalo announces substantiated claim of abuse


As a result of an investigation conducted through the Independent Review Board, Bishop Michael W. Fisher has accepted the board’s recommendation and has determined that a claim made against retired priest Father Joseph Vatter that he had abused a minor female has been substantiated.

Bishop Fisher had placed Father Vatter on administrative leave in February 2023. As a result of the substantiated claim, Father Vatter will continue to be removed from ministry and be listed on Priests with Substantiated Claims of Abuse on the diocesan website. Prior to being placed on leave, Father Vatter had occasionally celebrated Masses at various churches within the Diocese of Buffalo.

If you have any information specific to clerical sexual abuse you would like to share, please contact Jackie Joy, our victim assistance coordinator, who may be reached at 716-895-3010.


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