On Monday morning, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that Bishop Malone placed two priests on administrative leave.
Father Arthur S. Smith, of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew and Father Samuel J. Venne, a retired priest serving at St. Stephen’s Parish on Grand Island, were the men named by the diocese.
Smith was placed on leave due to an investigation, and Venne was placed on leave following a complaint of abuse.
“In both cases, please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint,” the diocese wrote.
Reverend Paul Nogaro is with St. Stephen parish on Grand Island. He didn’t want to speak on camera
But he tells News 4 Father Sam Venne, served as a resident at St. Stephen for about 10 years, that he is well respected, and is innocent until proven otherwise
Father Nogaro says this was sad news he had to share with parishioners Sunday.
But lawyer and advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, Mike Reck says he isn’t surprised.
We received two almost identical letters from leaders with the Buffalo Diocese about each priest.
They both read in part, “this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.”