Buffalo’s Catholic Bishop to Resign, SNAP Responds

According to a report, Buffalo’s Catholic bishop is set to resign on Wednesday after more than a year of scandals, mostly of his own making, have plagued the diocese. We hope that this resignation will lead to true change in this see, not simply a change in personnel.

The well-respected Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo says that Bishop Richard Malone will resign this week. For the past year plus, Bishop Malone has faced scandal after scandal, from his lying about the extent of abuse in his diocese, to his being the subject of secret recordings, to his failing to remove an accused priest from ministry while allegations were investigated. Now, the Bishop of Albany, Edward Scharfenberger, will apparently be left to pick up the pieces from these months of deceit.

When the new bishop for Buffalo is selected, we hope that he will be a prelate who learns from Bishop Malone. That is, we hope that this new bishop will take the opposite action from his predecessor at every opportunity, will truly be transparent instead of secretive, and will welcome the truth with open arms instead of attempting to silence it. Parishioners in Buffalo deserve no less.

One way that this prelate can show that it is a new day in Buffalo will be to follow the example of Bishop Steven Biegler in Cheyenne, WY. Bishop Biegler turned over to law enforcement all the files on his predecessor, who had been accused of abuse, immediately upon assuming his new role. Certainly a similar step can be  taken in Buffalo by making all the files on the accused available to the police. This will quickly not only restore trust among local parishioners, but will also show survivors and advocates that times are changing. We hope that this new bishop, whoever he will be, will take these actions and more on his first day in office.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(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 SNAPnetwork.org)


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