A clergy abuse survivor rejected a $650,000 settlement from the Buffalo Diocese stating that the diocese knew that the priest was an abuser. The credibly accused priest served at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Lancaster, New York starting in 1984. Along with the survivor’s accounts of priest abuse, the diocese received three separate complaints from other victims. One accuser notified the diocese about his traumatic experience with the priest in the early 1980s, but police records show no notification of abuse from the Buffalo Diocese. The former altar boy alleges that Monsignor Donald W. Trautman knew that the priest was a predator. In December 2018, he was offered the largest settlement so far from the Buffalo Diocese compensation fund but rejected it due to his accusations against the diocese. The Pennsylvania grand jury report noted that the priest who also served in the Erie Diocese admitted to multiple counts of abuse at the St. Margaret and St. Lawrence parishes in the Buffalo Diocese when he served in the 1970s.
While the compensation funds provided by numerous Catholic dioceses across the country may appear to appease survivors for the abuse from which they endured, it does not erase the trauma or hold the abusive clergy members accountable. It does not acknowledge the parts that the diocese may have played in covering up the abuse or transferring an abusive priest to another diocese. Compensation may mean nothing to a clergy abuse survivor if the abuser evades responsibility for their criminal actions.
If you or a loved one experienced clergy abuse as a child, our New Jersey clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar will exhibit compassion and discretion when discussing your case. To schedule a free and confidential case review, please call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide from our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey.