Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. Bishop Steps Down in Church Abuse Scandal

U.S. Bishop Steps Down in Church Abuse Scandal

"I am honored to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo during these challenging times, and I am humbled by the task put before me", Scharfenberger said in a statement released as the appointment was announced.

"My handling of recent claims from some of our parishioners concerning sexual misconduct with adults unquestionably has fallen short of the standard to which you hold us, and to which we hold ourselves", Malone said previous year.

But the pressure on Malone intensified in September when WKBW published secret audio recordings where Malone attempt ed to hide sexual misconduct allegations involving Rev. Jeffrey Nowak.

"We extend a promise of prayer for Bishop Richard Malone, as he moves into the retirement phase of his Episcopal ministry, and for the faithful of Buffalo".

But the situation was even more convoluted. Meanwhile, news outlets obtained a letter from the bishop's priest-secretary to Bojanowski that suggested the two had a romantic relationship.

"I think he made a prudent decision to withdraw as he did at the time that he did", he said in a news conference. A petition calling for Malone's departure had gathered more than 12,000 signatures, accusing him of deceit and of being a "silent accomplice" to the crimes of priests. Picketers had followed the bishop to recent events, and the newspaper reported that the diocese had ceased publishing the bishop's event calendar.

Malone singed the letter as Bishop Emeritus of Buffalo, suggesting that he plans to stay in NY.

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"There are many priests in Buffalo that need to be laicized", Bojanowski continued. When the visitation was announced, Bishop Malone welcomed it. "Buffalo is in desperate need of a strong leader who will stand up to the many bully priests that don't want to serve their community, but rather just serve themselves". Before arriving in Buffalo, he spent eight years with the Diocese of Portland, Maine, where he has faced criticism over his handling of sex abuse allegations involving two priests. Last month, he traveled with other NY state bishops to the Vatican and met with Francis.

The Buffalo diocese has paid out more than $18 million to more than 100 victims under a compensation program established a year ago. After returning, Malone issued a statement that gave no indication he planned to step down. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who led the inquiry, said he'd finished his work after making three trips to western NY and interviewing about 80 people in and outside the church. "He was very understanding and kind".

The diocese has been named in more than 220 recent lawsuits by people accusing priests of sexual abuse and paid out more than $18 million to more than 100 victims under a compensation program.

Going public to "60 Minutes" a year ago, the former administrative assistant, Siobhan O'Connor, accused Malone of wiping some of the most problematic names from the public record.

As CNN and other news outlets have reported, Malone kept a secret binder full of the names of accused priests in a closet in his office.

Malone later showed his support for the same priest when he endorsed him for a position as a cruise ship chaplain after the priest was accused of making unwelcome advances toward young men.

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