Fr. Paul James Kowalewski – Diocese of Buffalo

| Oct 17, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Paul James Kowalewski

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1973

Left: 1976

Assigned as follows:

  • 1974-1975      St. Martin of Tours Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1976                St. Matthew Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • 1976                St. Francis of Assisi Church (City of Tonawanda, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Paul James Kowalewski:

Father Paul James Kowalewski was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1973. He left the priesthood in 1976 and got married in 1979. He was assigned to parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo (South Buffalo, Buffalo and Tonawanda.) He was an associate pastor at a United Methodist church in the mid-1980s and a Protestant chaplain at Syracuse University in the late 1980s. He became an Episcopalian priest in 1990 and served as rector of St. David’s Church in DeWitt for several years.

According to media reports, in July 2019, he was named in a lawsuit alleging he  sexually abused a 19-year-old woman in the Town of Tonawanda, at St. Amelia’s in 1971. The alleged abuse occurred when Father Kowalewski was a seminarian, preparing to be a Catholic priest in Buffalo. He was reportedly sent to a church treatment facility in Canada.

She said she never told anyone about the alleged abuse until about two years ago when she confided in her husband.

“I was so ashamed. I was so embarrassed and full of guilt, and my family was so Catholic,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Father Kowalewski moved to Califirnia and was rector of a church and school in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2013. In August 2019, Father Kowalewski was accused in a lawsuit filed under the NY Child Victims Act, alleging he sexually abused a 16-year-old parishioner of St. Amelia Church in the Town of Tonawanda from 1971 to 1973. The abuse occurred at Beaver Island State Park, at a cottage in Canada and in his car. The alleged victim said she knew of at least one other child who was abused by him. He is currently listed as part of the assisting clergy in the Church of St. Paul in the Desert, a parish in Palm Springs in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

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.