Buffalo, NY (WBEN/AP) - The Buffalo Diocese announced that they will be ceasing operations at Christ the King Seminary in its current form.
The announcement comes in the midst of an imminent bankruptcy filing and numerous claims of harassment at the seminary.
Though claims of abuse and a broken culture have plagued the Seminary over the last year, Buffalo's Apostolic Administrator Edward Scharfenberger said the decision was more of a financial one.
Scharfenberger says Christ the King Seminary has experienced an operating deficit, amounting to $500,000 on average annually. In some years, the Seminary has been the recipient of extraordinary financial gifts which have served to offset the operating deficit, but which cannot be relied upon year-over-year.
The clergy misconduct crisis has touched the seminary. Last year, Matthew Bojanowski said he quit Christ the King Seminary claiming he was sexually harassed by Fr. Jeffrey Nowak. No charges were filed. Bojanowski claimed then-Bishop Richard Malone ignored his complaints.
There are 26 seminarians enrolled — about 10% percent of capacity — this academic year, including 15 who are on track to be priests in the Diocese of Buffalo.
Sex abuse victims advocate James Faluszczak attended Christ the King Seminary for his education, and while he admitted that there was certainly a culture problem, the fact that it's closing saddens him deeply.