Fr. James Smyka
Diocese of Buffalo (Franciscans)
Assigned As Follows:
- Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital (Syracuse, NY)
- St. Francis High School (Hamburg, NY)
- Chaplain at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital (Johnstown, PA)
- St. Stanislaus Basilica (Chicopee, MA)
- St. Michael the Archangel Church (Bridgeport, CT)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father James Smyka:
In November 2018, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo named a Syracuse priest on its updated list of clergyman with substantiated allegations of child sex abuse. No specific information was released about the allegations against him or the number of alleged victims.
According to media reports, in August 2019, a lawsuit was filed against him under the Child Victims Act in New York. According to the lawsuit, Father Smyka was accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy, along with two other priests at St. Francis High School in Hamburg during the 1970’s. The victim alleged that the abuse occurred in front of an audience of 15-20 other priests in a shower room, and it continued on until he was 8-years-old. The other two priests who are named in the lawsuit along with Smyka are Father Aurelian Brzezniak and Father Patrick Mendola. The complaint also states that afterward, the three priests would try to console the victim as he cried, only to sexually abuse him again at least 15 more times in a single night.
Both Medola and Brzezniak are listed as deceased, and Smyka was documented as living at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Syracuse, until recently.
His current whereabouts since leaving the church 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.