Few priests sign petition calling for Malone's resignation

Zilliox: Many priests changing their minds after signing petition

Mike Baggerman
September 11, 2019 - 11:58 am

Father Robert Zilliox

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - A letter circulating amongst priests in the Buffalo Diocese calling for Bishop Richard Malone to resign in the wake of his handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal is not being met with a significant amount of support.

Father Robert Zilliox told WBEN the letter has received the support of around a dozen priests in the area. He couldn't give a definitive number because he said it's fluctuating, with some priests changing their minds after signing the petition. Zilliox declined to name any of the priests who signed the petition aside from those who have already made public comments calling for Bishop Malone to resign.

"I think percentage wise, in Buffalo we have only about 250 to 260 priests between the active and retired," Zilliox said. "12 or 13 percentage wise doesn't sound like a lot but it's in the ballpark of similar numbers (to Boston). I thought I could get more. I'm going to wait and see."

Zilliox said the calls for Malone to resign from the Movement to Restore Trust was a tipping point in creating the letter. He said the challenge now is to see if priests will sign it publicly.

Zilliox said there is no definitive timeline for the petition to be signed. However, he said this will not be a long, drawn out process.

"I want to give my brothers some time to pray over this and respect them the best I can," he said. "Once I get to the point where this is not going any further, then I will definitely get out there and make it known."

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone has refused to resign on multiple occasions but indicated he would reconsider his role in the Diocese of Buffalo if he lost support among his priests.

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