“A former Erie priest pressed earlier this week for the Diocese of Buffalo to release the names of accused clergy.
He has now decided to name the Erie priest he said abused him as a teenager in the 1980s.
The former priest, James Faluszczak, 48, identified his abuser as Monsignor Daniel J. Martin, a former pastor of St. George Church in Millcreek Township who died at 88 in 2006.
Faluszczak said that Martin molested him when Faluszczak was 16 to 19 years old. He said the abuse occurred at St. George and at Mt. Calvary Church and then at Mercyhurst College, now Mercyhurst University, where Faluszczak said Martin was living at the time.
Faluszczak, who resigned from active ministry in the Diocese of Erie in 2014, now lives in Buffalo. He revealed Martin’s name to the Erie Times-News on Thursday, after disclosing during a public demonstration in Buffalo on Sunday that a priest in Erie had abused him as a teen.
Faluszczak did not reveal Martin’s name on Sunday, when he called for the Buffalo diocese to release the names of accused priests, which the diocese did on Tuesday.
Faluszczak said he decided to identify Martin on Thursday in light of the Catholic Diocese of Erie’s announcement, on Wednesday, that it plans to release the names of all accused clergy in the diocese in several weeks.
“I want to have a sense that I am speaking for myself,” Faluszczak said. “I would rather say it was Martin than someone else say it was Martin.”
Faluszczak said he has testified before the statewide grand jury that is investigating how the Erie diocese handled allegations of child sexual abuse.
The diocese has confirmed that Faluszczak brought an abuse allegation to Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico in 2014, but the diocese has said the accused priest is deceased and has not identified the priest. Faluszczak said he complained about Martin.
On Thursday, asked for comment on Faluszczak’s disclosure, diocesan spokeswoman Anne-Marie Welsh said the diocese “is still in the process of confirming identities of the accused that will be published within the next few weeks.”
She said the diocese has tried to contact Faluszczak.
Faluszczak said Martin took advantage of a sometimes unstable home life as a teenager.
“Father Martin knew that I was vulnerable,” he said.
“I was involved in every aspect of church life when I was a little kid,” Faluszczak said, explaining why he was around Martin.
Faluszczak was a priest from 1996 to 2014. For the last four years in the ministry, he was pastor at St. Boniface Church in Kersey, Elk County.
He said he became a priest because of his fondness for the church, but said the trauma of the abuse contributed to his decision to leave the ministry.
“I felt called to be a priest,” Faluszczak said.
“I am finally at the point,” he also said, “that I am ready to move forward.””