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Petition Arises Over Malone's Presence in St. Patrick's Day Parade

"I would like to see survivors walk in it; if he can, why can't they?"

February 19, 2019 - 6:36 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - A petition to keep Bishop Richard Malone from marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade has generated more than 100 signatures, but it doesn't appear that Malone will be sitting out. Despite the tumultuous 2018 of victim abuse allegations and many accusations against the Buffalo Diocese, local officials aren't calling for his removal from the parade.

"We work very closely with the committee that puts on the St. Patrick's Day Parade," said Mayor Byron Brown. "We don't have concerns about people participating in the parade. We will have significant police and other public safety personnel there to make sure that the parade is safe for all that participate, but the questions of who should participate, and who can participate are really questions of the committee that puts on the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and we don't try to include or exclude anyone."

Ryan Johnson was selected as this year's grand marshal for the parade, and he doesn't think Malone's presence will present any issues.

"The Diocese, historically, have always had an entry, and therefore, they determine who walks in the parade with them..." said Johnson. "I think it will okay. The mayor and the city always do a great job with keeping everything safe, so I think it will be okay, regardless."

Michael Whalen was the one to really begin last year's movement of alleged victims coming forward against the Diocese, and he was rather indifferent about Malone marching in the parade.

"I really don't care one way or the other," began 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."

Whalen expressed an idea that he's interested in, and he also thinks it would be good for Malone to face the public.

"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."

Hear full audio from Whalen below:

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