Today, the Pope promoted Maine Bishop Richard Malone to head the Buffalo Diocese. As is so often the case, the church hierarchy is trading one callous official for another.
It’s important to remember that Malone worked under the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston.
In 2010, it was disclosed that Malone was keeping secret the identity of seven recently accused Maine predator priests. We believe his secrecy violates his promises and the US bishops abuse policy. Even worse, he’s violating basic common sense and needlessly jeopardizing the safety of vulnerable children in Maine.
In 2008, Malone put a Bangor priest (Fr. Paul Coughlin) back into ministry even though that priest let a convicted sex offender live with him in a parish. (Later, Malone reversed himself in response to a public outcry.)On the other hand, in 2007, Malone belatedly and begrudgingly made public a partial list of credibly accused predator priests in Maine. However, he kept that list up only a few years. And in 2009, he removed public tributes on church property to one credibly accused predator priest (Fr. Joseph McGowan).
Bishop Kmiec has repeatedly covered up abuse. In February of 2011, it was revealed that a priest (Fr. David W. Bialkowski) who Kmiec claimed had been put on medical leave was actually suspended due to credible reports of abuse. Prior to that case, Kmiec had given sanctuary to a priest that had been abusing boys in Pennsylvania. Kmiec has also repeatedly refused requests to make available on his website a list of all credibly accused priests within his diocese.
If the church hierarchy ever truly wants to put an end to the abuse and cover up crisis, the Vatican should promote men who actively do that within their own dioceses. Instead, they promote the status quo and continue business as usual.