Father Robert Stolinski
Diocese of Buffalo
Placed on Leave: 2018
Assigned As Follows:
- St. John of the Cross (Whitesville, NY)
- St. Mary of Sorrows (Buffalo, NY)
- St. Jude Center at Buffalo General Hospital (Buffalo, NY)
- St. James Church (Jamestown, NY)
- Our Lady of Victory Church (Frewsburg, NY)
- Chaplain at WCA Hospital
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Father Robert Stolinski:
According to media reports, in June 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that Fr. Robert Stolinski had been removed from ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse. No details were provided as to the nature of the allegations, the age/gender of the alleged victim, or Stolinski’s assignment at the time the allegation was made. Also left out of the Diocese’s announcement was Stolinski’s long, ongoing struggle with pornography that saw the Diocese of Buffalo send him for psychiatric treatment not once, but twice.
According to local Buffalo media, Stolinski was investigated by police in 1987 after a fellow priest, Fr. Joseph Bissonnette, was murdered. The two lived together in the same rectory at the time of Bissonnette’s death. According to internal Diocese of Buffalo documents, police found “a great deal of pornography (male homosexual pornography not involving children).” He was counseled and sent to a notorious “treatment” facility for priests accused of sexual misconduct, Southdown, near Toronto.
In 2009, Buffalo Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz received additional complaints from priests living at St. James with Stolinski about the volume of pornography in his room, including “sexual acts between men and male teenagers, but not child pornography.” Grosz met with Stolinski and parishioners were told that Stolinski was retiring for “health reasons.” Instead, he was sent to Southdown for a second time.
Notes refer to a third incident in 2010, but no details were included in the documents obtained by reporters.
Though retired, he remained in active ministry in a Niagara Falls parish until 2018, at which time he was accused of sexually abusing a minor.
In March 2019, he was reinstated to active ministry by Bishop Malone after the Diocese’s internal Review Board deemed the claims against Stolinski “unsubstantiated.”
The abuse and pornography allegations were turned over to federal authorities as part of an ongoing investigation against the Diocese, according to a Diocesan statement.
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.