Father Dennis Fronczak
Diocese of Buffalo
Assigned as follows:
- 1975-1977 St. Joachim’s Church (Buffalo, NY)
- 1978-1983 Holy Trinity (Dunkirk, NY)
- 1984 Prince of Peace (Niagara Falls, NY)
- 1985-1990 St. John the Baptist (Lockport, NY)
- 1991-1999 St. Stephen’s (Grand Island, NY)
- 2000-2014 St. Joseph’s (Holland, NY)
- 2014-2015 Our Lady of Pompeii (Lancaster, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Dennis Fronczak:
According to media reports, in October 2015, Father Dennis Fronczak was unexpectedly placed on leave and removed from Our Lady of Pompeii for unspecified reasons. He denied any misconduct, but in June 2018, sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced.
A woman alleged that Father Fronczak, a family friend, repeatedly fondled her in the 1990s, starting when she was age 9 through 12, while she was a student at St. Stephen School on Grand Island. She said he would call her over to sit on his lap, while students lined up for school dismissal and some teachers were around.
“He’d rub up the back of my Catholic school girl skirt, up my legs,” she said. “It wasn’t a one-time thing. It was often.”
She would try to avoid him by not making eye contact, and recalled at least one time in which he scolded her for trying to stay away.
“He got mad at me, so that scared me even more,” said the woman.
Her parents didn’t believe her when she explained to them why school children nicknamed him “Father Touchy Feely.” Her father disregarded what she told them because it seemed so inconceivable.
“We pooh-poohed it. I stood up for him. I had a hard time believing it,” said the victim’s father. He said he realized how wrong he was not to have believed his daughter.
Just two weeks later, Bishop Richard Malone acknowledged the allegations against Father Fronczak and two other priests “have been substantiated and they will remain on administrative leave while the results of the Diocesan investigation are reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, who will make the final determination.”
According to media reports, another allegation of child sexual abuse by Father Fronczak was substantiated in June 2018. In 2003, parents told the Diocese of Buffalo that he showed inappropriate behavior toward their 3-year-old daughter when he was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Holland. They said their little girl was lying on the floor on her belly, looking at a book, and Father Fronczak walked over and stood over her.
“He was straddling her and kept touching her with his feet and legs, squeezing her with his legs. It was very weird behavior for someone who had just met this little girl,” the mother said.
“Our daughter was not harmed, but it was very strange behavior, very upsetting, and after struggling with it, we decided to report it to the bishop’s office,” the mother said.
Although they were told the matter would be looked into, no action was taken and they heard nothing more. Friends of Father Fronczak said he denied ever doing anything inappropriate with a child.
In August 2019, Father Fronczak was named in a lawsuit filed alleging sexual abuse of a child, 10-year-old child, starting in 1986 through 1988, while he was assigned to St. John the Baptist in Lockport.
In April 2020, he was one of 23 priests removed off of the Diocese of Buffalo’s payroll through an agreement it reached with survivors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Buffalo if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.