Fr. Karalus Placed on Administrative Leave

Minor claims sexual misconduct by Karalus in 2011

Tom Puckett
March 21, 2020 - 3:15 pm

WBEN Photo


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Buffalo Catholic Diocese Apostolic Administrator Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has placed the Reverend Peter J. Karalus on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual misconduct by a person who was a minor in 2011, when the incident allegedly occurred..

Karalus is currently the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. Monsignor Salvatore Manganello, currently Judicial Vicar and Pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church, has been appointed Vicar General, and the Reverend Walter J. Szczesny, former Director of Vocations and currently pastor of Our Lady of Peace, Clarence, NY, as temporary Moderator of the Curia.

An investigation into the allegation will now be conducted by an independent investigator, according to protocols and procedures that the Diocese has established, and the results of that investigation will be referred to the Independent Review Board for further consideration and its recommendation.

The Diocese notes this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination about the truth or falsity of the complaint.

The following is a statement realesed by Karalus Saturday afternoon:

I emphatically deny and confidently declare as false the allegation that I offered words of inappropriate content to a penitent during the Sacrament of Reconciliation nine years ago.

I do not recall this confession, nor can I reveal the content of any confession due to the sacred integrity of the Sacrament. I can, however, say that over my many years of ministry, I have learned common responses of advice and guidance to offer penitents. In this case, I am certain that my comments, intended as advice, were misunderstood, misinterpreted, or not comprehended in the manner they were offered. 

I trust and will fully cooperate in the process that will investigate this misplaced allegation. I am confident I will be fully exonerated.


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