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Bishop Richard Malone won't march in St. Patrick's Day parade

Father David Richards to march in his place

February 22, 2019 - 8:09 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has announced Bishop Richard Malone will not march in the annual Buffalo St. Patrick's Day parade next month.  The decision was announced by the diocese on their website late Friday.

Following is the complete statement from the diocese:

Bishop Malone will continue the true celebration of the feast day of Saint Patrick with Mass at Saint Joseph's Cathedral on Sunday March 17th at 10:30 AM.  This will precede the lining up of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade on Delaware Avenue.

To prevent the Saint Patrick's Day Parade from being used as a platform to address unrelated issues - however important those issues may be - Bishop Malone, with immense regret, has decided not to march in the Parade this year. The Bishop has chosen Father David Richards, Chaplain of the United Irish American Association, to march in his place as a representative of the diocese. The Parade is an event that honors Saint Patrick and the Irish Catholic heritage and celebrates the many contributions of the Irish people and their descendants to Western New York.  It is not the proper forum for controversy.

The decision by the diocese and Bishop Malone comes after an online petition was being circulated calling for the Bishop to not participate in the annual tradition.

WBEN spoke to one of the victims of alleged priest abuse who sparked the groundswell of claims made against the diocese and he told us he was indifferent about whether Bishop Malone participated in the parade or not. 

"I really don't care one way or the other," said Michael Whalen. "I think he should resign, don't get me wrong, and I think he's done a lot of bad for the church here, but it's tradition, so let him walk it."

"I would like to see survivors walk in it; if he can, why can't they?" he said. "Let the people see him for who he is, I mean there's going to be hundreds of thousands of people looking at him, and seeing him, and knowing the stories about him - him not speaking the full truth, hiding and moving priests around - so, let him walk out out in front. Let people see him."

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