Buffalo Diocese Priest Identified as Abuser Still Has Name Attached to Church Hall

Feb. 18, 2019

St. Mary's Church in Pavilion still has a large portrait of its longtime pastor, the late Rev. Robert P. Conlin, hanging in the parish hall. The Buffalo Diocese has acknowledged that Conlin was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
St. Mary’s Church in Pavilion still has a large portrait of its longtime pastor, the late Rev. Robert P. Conlin, hanging in the parish hall. The Buffalo Diocese has acknowledged that Conlin was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. 

The parish hall at St. Mary Church in Pavilion is named in honor of the late Rev. Robert P. Conlin, a longtime pastor of the parish.

Wayne Bortle last March alleged that Conlin molested him when he was a teenager. The Buffalo Diocese subsequently acknowledged that Conlin was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors and has offered Bortle a cash award for his abuse claim.

But the parish has kept a large portrait of Conlin hanging prominently on a wall inside its hall, named the “Conlin Parish Center.”

Bortle, who urged the Buffalo Diocese to remove Conlin’s name from the building, wants to know why the parish and the diocese continue to celebrate a man who harmed children.
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