Western New York priest resigns following second allegation of abuse

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Father Robert Yetter officially resigned as pastor of St. Mary’s in Swormville Monday, the Buffalo Diocese confirmed. 

Yetter was placed on administrative leave earlier this summer following allegations of sex abuse by an adult. 

Friday, the Diocese received a new complaint against Yetter; this complaint, a Diocesan spokesperson said, may involve a child. 

This comes after Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone announced Sunday that he will not resign, despite several calls for him to do so. 

“The shepherd was not desert the flock,” Malone said Sunday during a press conference. 

Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, a Democrat, said Malone has not done enough to protect abuse victims, and believes the Bishop allowed possible child predators to remain in the Church. 

“That’s the whole issue, is the shepherd was abandoning his flock for a long time,” Burke said. 

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and Congressman Brian Higgins, both Democrats, have also called on Malone to step down. 

Paul Snyder III, CEO of Snyder Corporations, serves a deacon at St. Mary’s in Swormville.  

“Our pastor being removed from ministry was the biggest crisis in the over 160 history of our parish,” Snyder said regarding Yetter’s placement on administrative leave earlier this summer. 

Snyder, who also thinks Malone should step down, told News 4 he thinks the Diocese could have been more transparent after Yetter was first removed. 

“I personally pleaded with representatives directly speaking with the Bishop and I was told repeatedly that he refused to meet or speak with anyone on our parish staff,” Snyder said.

Immediately following this new complaint against Fr. Yetter, the Diocese launched an investigation, a spokesperson said. 

News 4 reached out to Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan for a comment on Bishop Malone’s decision to remain at his post.

Cardinal Dolan has not yet responded to our request for a comment. 

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