Accused Priests Return To Duty

Allegations of child sexual abuse against two priests with ties to Chautauqua County have not been substantiated following an investigation.

According to a statement released Thursday by Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Buffalo Diocese, the Rev. Robert A. Stolinski and the Rev. John J. Sardina are eligible to return to active ministry following an investigation by the Diocesan Review Board. The independent board recently met to consider reports by investigators tasked with reviewing allegations of abuse by priests.

Claims against the Rev. Ronald B. Mierzwa, however, were substantiated and he will remain on administrative leave while the investigation is reviewed by the Vatican in Rome, Malone said.

According to WKBW-TV, Mierzwa was the pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville.

Stolinski, meanwhile, is a retired priest who served in the Jamestown area, including as chaplain at then-WCA Hospital. He was one of four priests placed on leave in June of last year amid an investigation by the Buffalo Diocese.

In November 2003, Stolinski was named pastor at St. James Church in Jamestown and later at Our Lady of Victory Church in Frewsburg. He also served as Catholic chaplain at WCA.

A native of Dunkirk, Stolinski was ordained a priest on May 23, 1970.

Sardina was ordained in 1960 and served at a number of assignments, including at St. Anthony’s Church is Fredonia from 1981-86. He has since retired.

The Buffalo Diocese in March 2018 named dozens of priests who were removed, retired or left the ministry after allegations of sexual abuse were reported since 1950.

COMMENTS