Fr. James Burson (Eudists) – Diocese of Buffalo

| Oct 21, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father James Burson

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1963

Removed: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • Cardinal Dougherty High School (Buffalo, NY)
  • St. John the Baptist(Buffalo, NY)
  • Eudist facility (Lakeview, NY)
  • St. Lawrence parish (Mowata, LA)
  • St. Joseph parish (Rayne, LA)
  • Alvarado, Grossmont and Kaiser Hospitals (San Diego, California)
  • Blessed Sacrament (San Diego, California)

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father James Burson:

Father James Burson was ordained for the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (Eudists). According to media reports, in 2018, a man reported that Father Burson molested him on multiple occasions as a 15-year-old sophomore at Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1979. Father Burson was the librarian and vocations director at the school from 1973 to 1979.

One night during a weekend retreat with the high school library club in Amherst, in early 1979, the man said he woke up to find Father Burson sitting on his bed. He had his hand down the boy’s underwear/shorts, the police report said. When the priest began stroking his genitals, he pretended to be asleep and rolled over, pressing the front of his body against a wall.

“I froze, and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t know what to do. I said to myself, ‘OK, just pretend you’re still sleeping,’” said the man.

Father Burson returned the next night and tried again, but the boy again pressed himself to the wall until the priest gave up and left.

In 1996, Father Burson moved to San Diego, California. He was assigned to a parish and was chaplain at three hospitals. He retired in July 2009, and was living at St. Patrick’s in Carlsbad until moving to a “board and care facility” in 2017.

In November 2018, Father Burson’s name was included in the Diocese of Buffalo’s updated list of priests with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor. The original list was published in March 2018. In August 2019, he was accused in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act, of child sexual abuse.

In 2020, Fr. Burson was named in another 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.

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.