The Buffalo Diocese, informed 23 Buffalo priests that they will no longer receive health care as part of bankruptcy negotiations. The priests have been suspended due to substantiated sex abuse allegations.
As of May 1, the 23 Buffalo priests that have been on leave because of abuse claims have been informed by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger that thier regular checks from the diocese would stop.
Scharfenberger wrote a letter to the priests explaining that as part of the ongoing bankruptcy negotiations, their health care was part of the expenses that have been halted due to the ongoing lawsuits of over 200 plaintiffs who accused the priests of alleged child sex abuse and sued the diocese under the Child Victims Act.
The Buffalo Diocese has tried to apply for a share of the $659 Billion that Congress has allotted to small businesses that are keeping employees on payroll during COVID-19 by asking for a small Business loan of $1.7 Million through the national Paycheck Protection Program. However, because the diocese of Buffalo filed for Chapter 11 onFeb 28, they are unable to get a loan.
The diocese wants to use the money to pay employees and avoid further layoffs amid the sex abuse allegations that have been financially draining to the diocese.
The diocese argued in court papers that without a loan it “will be forced to lay off or furlough essential employees which will have a permanent effect” on how its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is administered.
The Buffalo Diocese has joined with the Rochester Diocese to ask for SBA loans based on their bankruptcy status they ewer denied,The Rochester Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September, and the Buffalo Diocese followed on Feb. 28 of this year.