Typical Buffalo Shuffle

I’m going to put a disclaimer right here. This is disgusting. Many Catholic organizations just referred to it as “salacious,” and maybe that’s the way I should be going, but I don’t think people can fathom just how gross some priests are and what a terribly hard time our seminarians have in some areas of our country. If you don’t want to read what should be “R” rated (at least!), stop reading here, and for heaven’s sake, don’t read the full letter sent to diocese which they couldn’t even put on TV. Unfortunately, for some, this type of behavior is the normal experience. I thank the seminarians who decided to fight this one. Personally, I’m hoping that some got it recorded, but that’s just me. Honestly, as I’ve said before, recording is the way to go nowadays. As you can see, the seminarians’ credibility is already being questioned. I’ve got to say, though, I totally believe them. The Diocese of Buffalo really has no credibility any more.

Also, another reason I’m going to post the whole shebang is because I get notes from seminarians all the time (mostly those trying to make it through the Jesuit formation program). The stories are gruesome. Somebody has got to be completely incensed on their behalf. This could be your son or mine someday! Most of the time the situation is privately revealed to me, so I can’t say anything about it, but this time I’m totally going to rant. I’d also like bishops to take special note: if it comes to light that any seminarian I know personally experiences something like this, heck, even if less than this, you will hear about it in the most unpleasant way.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Diocese of Buffalo suspended three Hamburg priests last week for what it called “unsuitable, inappropriate and insensitive conversations” during a party with seminarians at a church rectory.

Diocesan leaders gave no details about what the priests actually said, leading to widespread speculation and criticism from parishioners and other priests.

But 7 Eyewitness News has exclusively obtained a written account the seminarians gave to their superiors at the seminary, and many of the graphic details are even too sexually explicit to air on television.

Uh, the conversations were inappropriate, unsuitable and insensitive for ANYONE, much less those calling themselves Catholic and Catholic priests. Please, can we do an electronic dive of their laptops while we’re at it? I’m quite sure they are full of porn. This was a semi-public gathering. Can you imagine what these idiots do in private?!?! Wait! Stop. Don’t go there. You’ll need brain bleach.

“These guys are terribly corrupt,” said one employee of the seminary, who spoke to 7 Eyewitness News. “What happened was disgusting. Absolutely repulsive.” The employee asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

Personally, I think said employee is a little naïve but I hope he/she stays the course. This sad tale needs to be corroborated so these seminarians aren’t left to hang out to dry. I’m sure the nut-wings already know exactly who he/she is, and he/she is quite right to fear of retribution. Everyone knows this diocese is corrupt. Well, you do if you have a shred of Catholicism left in you.

“According to the document, Rev. Art Mattulke of SS. Peter and Paul Church in Hamburg — told one seminarian he heard the young man’s parents having sex on a retreat, going into detail about how the “father was really giving it to his mother.”

Mattulke “is a designated spiritual director appointed by Christ the King Seminary for seminarians,” the document states. “Several seminarians expressed concerns about this.”

Please stop and let this sink in. This fool who has the decorum of a 16-year-old jock fond of chatting in the locker room is the spiritual director for seminarians!!!!!!!!!! THE. SPIRITUAL. DIRECTOR. Clearly, Theology of the Body is not in his top 10 reads. What a jerk.

Other conversations involving the three suspended priests — Mattulke, Rev. Bob Orlowski and Rev. Patrick O’Keefe — reportedly included talk of “a priest who taught at the seminary and used to go to truck stops to give oral sex.”

The priest allegedly compared the sexual acts to a Catholic sacrament.

Yeah, but it’s all just clericalism. Sigh. Isn’t it funny? When they think nobody’s watching, they can’t help but discuss the homosexuality that supposedly doesn’t exist.

“The three suspended priests did not respond to multiple requests for comment.”

Oh, I bet they didn’t. I’m sure they were told to lay low until the fire dies down. So, are we going to let it die down or demand that these guys be assigned to a corner somewhere where there’s no children or seminarians or laity in general. The moon maybe?

In another case, the document — which was independently confirmed as authentic by an employee of the seminary — states Mattulke and Orlowski talked by phone with a female dentist from out of state in front of the seminarians, before they “surveyed the room of seminarians and called our gathering a sausage fest and said that the (female) dentist wants to f— a seminarian. Rev. Bob Orlowski asked the dentist, “Yeah, you want to f— one of them?”

Just think…Things are so bad in this diocese that there’s ZERO hesitation to say something like that in front of seminarians and employees. But, hey, at least the dentist was female. Leaves me to wonder if dentist doesn’t mean what it used to mean.  Sigh.

7 Eyewitness News has also learned that two other Buffalo Diocese priests — Rev. Bryan Zielenieski and Rev. Cole Webster — also attended the party and have since been reprimanded by the diocese for not doing more to stop the conversations.

Zielenieski — the pastor of Our Lady of Charity Parish in South Buffalo — and Webster, who is assigned to SS. Peter and Paul in Hamburg, said in interviews with 7 Eyewitness News that they were unfairly treated by the diocese and did not get to tell their sides of the story.

Dude (wouldn’t want to be accused of clericalism!), you party with these guys. Your side of the story was irrelevant.

“My feel of the event is that it was a nice gathering,” said Zielenieski, who is also canonical administrator of Notre Dame Academy elementary school in South Buffalo. “I thought there was good conversation that took place. There was some real conversation and it was…overall good.”

Oh, geez! The canonical administrator of an elementary school parties it up with these fools? Maybe you wouldn’t be caught up in this mess if you watched the company you keep. Are we really supposed to believe that this is the first “faux pas” by these guys? Yeah. You just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or you’re disturbed enough to believe that this type of conversation is good.

Webster disputed parts of the seminarians’ accounts.

“That report says that they felt forced to stay and fed drinks,” Webster said. “That was not the case.”

Really, Fr. Webster? You may have missed something.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ilzx-l1V5w It wasn’t just one or two seminarians, buddy. It was more than TWELVE. Again, are we really supposed to believe there’s some sort of collective hysteria going on here among the seminarians? Oh, OK.

The following is a transcript of the interview with 7 Eyewitness News:

REPORTER: “Are you saying that this stuff was OK or that you didn’t hear it? How did you interpret it when you were shown or read this document?”

ZIELENIESKI: “The aspects of it, no I did not hear, because you’re in different areas of the room. When you are gathered together in a relaxed atmosphere and you start to really get into the nitty gritty of ministry, you start to really try to be real, you do let your guard down a little bit. I’m not saying that everything is a holy dialogue, but I’m saying you have real conversations and some of it can get into real specifics and, you know, we have to work on that.”

Bahaha! “I’m not saying that everything is holy dialogue.” Uh, we definitely got that, but it wasn’t about the Yankees either. Are “real conversations” in your world usually pornographic? Seriously, re-read this paragraph. I have casual social conversations with lots of priests, and I’m not sure I remember them mentioning the sexual relations of my parents or lewd acts at a truck stop.

REPORTER: “Do you think it’s appropriate for a person, a priest, to be talking about this kind of stuff?”

WEBSTER: “Having read the report…which I preached this past weekend, I denied ever hearing. And some of it, I just don’t even understand how they interpreted things that are in there.”

Again, more than TWELVE seminarians heard this. Were you somehow in another room? Was this room so cavernous that you could hide over on one side of it while your senior buddies verbally molest seminarians? And this was your topic for your homily? Yeah, completely appropriate.  Did you make sure children were there too? Wouldn’t want to miss scandalizing them, would you?

REPORTER: “You’re not saying that this stuff is OK, what was said in here? That it’s appropriate?”

WEBSTER: “No, and what I’ve said in my own investigation is that it was false, some of it is false.”

You need to decide if you didn’t hear it or they are lying. If you didn’t hear it, how can you make that accusation? If you did hear it, how was it misinterpreted? You can see why we don’t believe you guys, right? At least tell us “some” that was supposedly “false” because there was a whole lot of crud being thrown at them.

REPORTER: “There’s gonna be people out there who are gonna look at this and say, jeez, what kind of stuff is happening on our seminary in this diocese? What would you say to that?”

ZIELENIESKI: “Formation…that’s what’s happening in our seminary in our diocese. The seminary has a task, and it’s a difficult task. It’s a task of taking men who have responded to the call and helping them to discern how is that Holy Spirit bringing them to the point of ordination.”

Picking jaw up off the keyboard now. Is this the formation you received yourself?!? No wonder why you don’t have a clue. What exactly are you forming these young men for, anyway??? Grooming might be a better word.  Who’s the new McCarrick waiting in the wings?

WEBSTER: “We were just trying to be authentic and share ourselves, and so do the people of God try to be authentic and they need counsel and spiritual guidance and they’re messy situations.”

Do us all a favor, be less “authentic” a.k.a disgusting. I don’t want to know your depravities, for heaven’s sake. Your flock doesn’t need twisted sexual stories for counsel and spiritual guidance. Are you really trying to say this worse-than-locker-room-talk was somehow spiritual guidance for the seminarians? Are you watching porn with them, too? I believe Pope Benedict might have been talking about your seminary recently.

“However, the employee of the seminary said there is a clear divide among seminarians who feel — especially in light of state sexual harassment laws — compelled to speak up about such conversations, and some older priests who are used to the stories.” 

Clearly, in this diocese, it’s been the status quo for far too long.

“We’re starting to have good guys joining the seminary that are not like this,” the employee said. “You have all these guys entering for the right reasons and you have all these other guys essentially imposing their will on them.”

I hear this all of the time. Until a good bishop arrives and rights the seminary, the poor seminarians just try to keep their heads down and get through. Most don’t make it because the level of, well, we might as well just say porn and smut, is staggering. The old guard found in liberal dioceses is emboldened right now. The rest of the diocese is just hoping and praying their bishop survives until the next conclave.

Rev. John Staak, interim president-rector of the seminary, declined a request for an interview.

There’s a shocker.

A spokeswoman for Bishop Richard Malone responded to criticism that he suspended the priests by phone from his vacation home in Cape Cod, Mass., and that he has remained there while the Hamburg parish endures the turmoil.

“Bishop Malone was fully involved in every conversation and decision that was made at the Diocese and Seminary,” spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said. “As regards the three priests, there is no timetable. After a temporary leave of absence from their parishes and appropriate action, we hope they will return to active ministry. In regard to time away, every priest, by canon law, is afforded personal time away. It has been Bishop Malone’s custom, for many years, to take some time immediately after Easter. While away, he is in regular contact, multiple times a day, with the diocese.”

Oh my gosh. Will they never learn? Can’t they tell these guys have some deep-seated issues? But hey, let’s just temporarily suspend them with the happy hope they’ll take the advice of their bishop to keep their mouths shut. They’re minds are still tweaked, but whatever.


After this story was published, Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler clarified in an email that Bishop Malone “never has and never will place any priests on leave by phone, including those recently placed on a temporary leave of absence.” Instead, she said, Bishop Malone asked Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz to “communicate it in person to the priests.” When asked, she did not specify how Bishop Malone communicated that message — by phone or by email — from his vacation home in Cape Cod, Mass.

“The key is that we would never communicate suspension or admin leave by phone, but always in a face to face conversation,” Spangler wrote in an email. “The decision is always made collegially, not by Bishop [sic] in an isolated way.”

This is where the diocese chooses to respond. The seminary is a dumpster fire but the bishop was totally involved with communication with the arsonists. Oh, this makes it all so much better. Sigh.