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Diocese of Buffalo announces appointees


Mon, Feb 26th 2024 04:40 pm

Press Release

Diocese of Buffalo Names Melissa Potzler Chancellor

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo recently promoted Melissa Potzler, Esq., to the role of chancellor.

In her updated role, Potzler maintains the official Diocese of Buffalo archives and priests’ personnel files, assists civil attorneys and investigators with access to archived legal documents, and prepares numerous decrees, letters and other statements issued by the bishop and the chancery.

Potzler first joined the chancery in 2022 as its chief compliance officer, in-house counsel, and child protection policy coordinator. She remains responsible for aiding the diocese in exercising reasonable oversight of child protection policies, ensuring diocesan compliance with a wider range of policies, and providing internal legal advice where needed.

Potzler brings nearly two decades of legal experience into the chancery. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University at Buffalo School of Law. After beginning her career within the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, she spent seven years working as an assigned counsel through the 18B program, defending clients unable to afford an attorney, and also handled numerous criminal defense cases as a private attorney.

Santandreu Named Vice Chancellor and Adjutant Judicial Vicar

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo recently appointed the Rev. Peter Santandreu to two positions: vice chancellor and adjutant judicial vicar.

As vice chancellor, Santandreu will serve the chancery by providing knowledge of Catholic canon law, which complements in-house civil counsel. As adjutant judicial vicar, he will serve within the diocesan tribunal, which provides justice for all persons who approach the church’s court system.

He is a 2023 graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a licentiate in canon law (JCL) degree. He is also a 2018 graduate of Christ the King Seminary (master’s degree in divinity), a 2011 graduate of University of St. Michael's College in Toronto (MA in systematic theology), a 2009 graduate of St. John Fisher in Rochester (BA in religious studies and philosophy), a 2005 graduate of St. Francis High School in Athol Spring, and a graduate of SS Peter and Paul School in Hamburg.

His past experience includes service as Boy Scout counselor at Camp Schoelkopf, parochial vicar at St. Amelia Parish in the Town of Tonawanda, and COVID-19 chaplain for Catholic Health.

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