Bishop Richard Malone Must Go

A just-unearthed recording of Buffalo’s top Catholic official has confirmed that he knew about allegations of sexual harassment against a priest in his diocese and did nothing. This inaction combined with the months of scandal and lies from church officials in Buffalo should compel church officials in the Vatican to step in and discipline him.

In a recording obtained by WKBW in Buffalo, Bishop Richard Malone referred to an accused priest, Fr. Jeff Nowak as “a sick puppy” who he acknowledged was harassing a seminarian. Yet despite this determination, Bishop Robert Malone chose to do nothing for five months before sending Fr. Nowak to a church-run “treatment center.” And only last week, ten months after the first complaint was made, did Bishop Malone finally put Fr. Nowak on administrative leave.

This inaction is enough to cause dissension in Bishop Malone’s staff and should be enough for church officials in the Vatican to discipline Bishop Malone’s flaunting of the Dallas Charter and defiance of the church’s oft-touted “zero-tolerance policy.” This case represents the third time that Bishop Malone has left an accused abuser in ministry – in just the past year.

Bishop Malone’s record on abuse and transparency is abysmal and his credibility is near zero. His own words indict him as in these recordings he continues to show more concern for his career than he does for the safety of children and vulnerable adults. Catholics in Buffalo deserve a bishop who will do the right thing by them, not lie to them repeatedly.

If the Vatican really wants to show they are taking these issues seriously, they will step in and discipline Bishop Malone today.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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