Diocese of Buffalo reinstates Rev. Peter Karalus to active ministry

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Catholic Diocese fo Buffalo has reinstated Reverend Peter Karalus to active ministry. Karalus had been accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor in 2011.

The diocese released the following statement Thursday morning: Accepting the recommendation of the Independent Review Board and following a thorough review of all available documentation, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Apostolic Administrator, has returned the Reverend Peter J. Karalus to active ministry effective today.  Fr. Karalus had been assigned to administrative leave in March following an allegation related to 2011 which the Independent Review Board determined to be unsubstantiated.  The Erie County District Attorney also determined that there was no basis for pursuing criminal charges related to the allegations.

“I am very grateful to Bishop Scharfenberger and the Independent Review Board for conducting an extensive investigation which exonerated me and for returning me to my ministerial duties," stated Karalus in a statement provided to the media.  "When this allegation was first made, I stated that there has never been any misconduct involving a penitent during the Sacrament of Reconciliation nine years ago. I am looking forward to once again serving the faithful of our Church.”

Fr. Karalus will resume his previous role of Vicar General, joining Rev. Monsignor Sal Manganello who also serves as the Diocese of Buffalo’s other Vicar General.  Fr. Karalus will be working with the leadership team of the Diocese to support the recently-announced Renewal Initiative  while sharing various administrative duties in collaboration with Msgr. Manganello. The Reverend Walter J. Szeczesny serves as Moderator of the Curia.  Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF was appointed as the Diocese’s Chief Operating Officer by Bishop Scharfenberger in April and continues to be responsible for the daily management of Diocesan operations.