Fr. Jeffrey Nowak – Diocese of Buffalo

| Oct 23, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Jeffrey Nowak

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 2012

Removed: 2019

Assigned as follows:

  • Our Lady Help of Christians (Cheektowaga, NY)
  • St. John Vianney Church (Orchard Park, NY)
  • St. Vincent de Paul (Niagara Falls, NY)
  • Mary Queen of Angels School (Cheektowaga, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Jeffrey Nowak:

According to media reports, in August 2019, a former student at Christ the King Seminary, accused Father Jeffrey Nowak of violating the Catholic church’s seal of confession, sexually harassing him and trying to blackmail a fellow priest. After a news report was published regarding this case, Father Nowak was suspended as Pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga. He denied all of the allegations.

The former seminarian accused Father Nowak of violating the seal of confession after hearing his confession several years earlier. The man said he was interested in pursuing the priesthood and alleges that Father Nowak used that information to try and develop a romantic relationship with him. He referred to his potential as “clerical eye candy.” According to canon law, a priest can never discuss or act upon any information outside the confession that was received during confession. Violating it can lead to ex-communication or dismissal from the Catholic Church.

The former seminarian said he first notified Bishop Malone of the allegation against Father Nowak in November 2018. When no action was taken, even after a follow-up complaint, he secretly recorded audio of the bishop’s inner circle of advisers discussing the allegations against the priest in meetings last March.

“We have victims and we have a perpetrator. And the perpetrator here is Jeff Nowak. He’s done things that are clearly wrong, and I think he’s a sick puppy,” said Bishop Malone.

The man said he made the recordings to show how Bishop Malone was delaying the removal of Father Nowak from ministry, and has called for his resignation. The bishop defended his handling of what he described as “a very complex, convoluted matter.” He said he placed Father Nowak on leave when the priest twice refused to seek a behavioral assessment at St. Luke Institute in Maryland.

“The Diocese of Buffalo suppresses the truth in relation to sexual abuse,” the man said at a news conference across from the Diocese of Buffalo office. “There is no transparency in the Buffalo Diocese and there is no justice for victims of abuse, whether the victims are children or adults.”

Father Nowak has since agreed to go to for treatment at Southdown Institute in Toronto. The former seminarian hopes the Vatican will intervene and the the FBI will investigate.

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.