Fr. Donald W. Becker – Diocese of Buffalo

| Oct 18, 2019 | Catholic Church, Sex

Father Donald Becker

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1967

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • 1968                St. Mark (Rushford, NY)
  • 1969-1970      Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Lancaster, NY)
  • 1971-1974      St. Bonaventure (West Seneca, NY)
  • 1975-1979      Saints Peter and Paul (Hamburg, NY)
  • 1980-1981      Nativity Church (Orchard Park, NY)
  • 1982-1984      St. Stephen Church (Grand Island, NY)
  • 1985-1989      St. Agatha (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1990                Unknown
  • 1991                Awaiting assignment
  • 1992-2002      St. Mary (Batavia, NY)
  • 2003                Absent on leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Donald Becker:

According to media reports, Father Donald Becker was removed from ministry and put on “medical leave” in 2003 after child sexual abuse allegations were reported. He denied the allegations and then retired in September 2003.

In 2016, a man said Father Becker molested him twice when he was 15 years old in 1975. The alleged abuse occurred his North Java cabin. He said Father Becker got him drunk and then raped him.

“He was giving me beer and whiskey that night. I trusted him because he was a priest. I had no experience with sex or no idea what sex was all about at that point in my life,” the man said. “This incident messed me up for my entire life. I thought about suicide many times.”

The man said the Diocese of Buffalo has been paying for his health care, counseling and medications since he made a complaint about Father Becker. He is trying to negotiate a settlement with the Diocese under a program recently announced by the bishop to help victims of sexual abuse by priests.

In March 2018, a man accused Father Becker of molesting him twice in the rectory of St. Bonaventure Church in West Seneca in the late 1960s. He and his brother were invited to the parish for the weekend to be with other kids and play basketball. Upon arrival, there were no other children. Father Becker told the boys to take a shower, then stepped in and “grabbed” him by his genitals, the man alleged. He said Father Becker gave them “lots of wine” with dinner and got him “extremely drunk.” Father Becker came into his bedroom in the middle of the night and molested him.

“The next morning, I called my mother and asked her to pick us up right away. I told my brother, ‘We can never tell Mom what happened. We’ll burn in Hell.’ I was sick to my stomach,” the man said.

He reached a confidential, out-of-court financial settlement with the Diocese of Buffalo.

In March 2018, Father Becker’s name was included in the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests who “were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” No information regarding the allegations was disclosed.

In June 2018, another man alleged that he was sexually abused by Father Becker while he was pastor of SS Peter and Paul in Hamburg. The man said he was a 13-year-old altar boy when Father Becker gave him a summer job painting at the church. When the boys’ grandparents died, Father Becker was there for him, and took him on trips to his cabin twice. Both times he got him drunk and then abused him.

At least one of his alleged victims died by suicide. Father Becker denied all allegations. According to media reports, in October 2019, his case was reviewed in Rome, according to a revised list of priests accused of sexual abuse.

In 2020, Fr. Becker was named in a lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown.

He is believed to currently live in Fort Myers, Florida.

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.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your legal options today.