BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Hamburg man who stands charged with cyberstalking allegedly called a local reporter whose work has focused on the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo 11 times to harass them.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on Feb. 4, Paul Lubienecki left a voice mail that said “I know where you live in (town redacted). I’m going to find you. I’m going to kill you.”
Prosecutors said the alleged victim had previously reported on child sexual abuse allegations in the Diocese and on that day had reported on the seminary’s announced and impending closure.
Prosecutors said other harassing phone calls happened in August, November and December 2019.
Lubienecki, 62, was released after making an appearance before a federal judge.
Interim Communications Director Greg Tucker released this statement on behalf of the diocese:
“As this is a matter now before the courts, it is not appropriate to comment other than to confirm Mr. Lubienecki’s affiliation with Christ the King Seminary as an adjunct continuing education professor has been suspended until this matter is resolved.”
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Buffalo’s Apostolic Administrator released a statement through the Diocese’s Twitter account on Thursday morning:
“There is no place – nor should there be any tolerance – for threats or harassment towards members of the news media or any one else. This is against who we are as Christians, but also against our nation’s founding principles that guarantee freedom to the press and freedom of speech. As a Church we must be able to withstand the glaring light of scrutiny – even as we seek to pierce the darkness with our own light, demonstrating Christ’s abundant love, forgiveness and care for us all.”Bishop Edward Scharfenberger