Bishop Richard Malone to resign on Wednesday

"We've been in such a crisis mode for months"

WBEN Newsroom
December 02, 2019 - 5:14 pm
Bishop Richard Malone

Bishop Richard Malone/WBEN Photo-Tim Wenger


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - A report from a Catholic reporter said that Bishop Richard Malone will resign as the head of the Diocese of Buffalo on Wednesday.

Rocco Palmo reported on Monday that the Bishop plans to resign this week and will be replaced by Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. A source for WBEN confirmed that Malone will be resigning, though the source did not confirm the timing.

The Diocese of Buffalo declined to respond to the report that the bishop will resign.

Malone has been under intense pressure to resign for more than a year and has continually resisted calls to step aside, saying he wanted to continue serving the diocese of church.  Upon returning from the 'ad limina' visit in Rome last month, Malone released a video message to the diocese that indicated he would continue his work and offered broad details on his visit with the Pope at The Vatican.

During the Rome visit, The Tablet reporter Christopher Lamb reported that Malone's reignation was imminent.  Following the report, Lamb cautioned WBEN that The Vatican moves slowly and stood by his report that Malone's time as leader of the Buffalo Diocese was nearing an end.

Malone faces mandatory retirement early in 2021 when he reaches the age of 75.

RELATED: In-Depth: New abuse suits could cost church over $4B

James Faluszczak has long called for his resignation and said it was always a matter of when, not if.

"We've been in such a crisis mode for months, really a couple of years now, and it's been my estimation for at least 18 months now that this was inevitable," he said. "Whenever Bishop Malone does exit, hopefully it will be a moment of hope and healing for the good people of this diocese."

Listen to Faluszczak's full comments below:

Robert Hoatson is the founder of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey based nonprofit that helps victims of sex abuse, and he is thrilled by the report. He says it's absurd that Malone has been able to remain the leader of the diocese for this long, but it's better late than never.

"My reaction is one of great joy for the people of Buffalo, for the abuse survivors of sexual abuse by clergy and for the entire church of Buffalo," said Hoatson. "This is a long time coming, and unfortunately, if it weren't the Catholic Church, Bishop Malone would have been gone a long time ago. Whenever a CEO of an organization or a company behaves the way Bishop Malone behaved, he or she would have been ousted a long time ago, so this is great news - good for the people of Buffalo - a shout out to the brave survivors who came forward and really were the reason for his resignation, if indeed that's what's going to happen on Wednesday."

Listen to Hoatson's full comments below:

The law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates has been leading the way with lawsuits against the Buffalo Diocese and others in recent months and attorneys Jeff Anderson and Steve Boyd released the following statement upon learning of the report of Malone's expected resignation:

The impending resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, as reported by several media outlets, is a step in the right direction. But the resignation of Bishop Malone does not signal the end to the crisis in the Diocese of Buffalo.  The resignation of one man falls short of full accountability so long as the past system of denial and secrecy continues. The Diocese of Buffalo needs to move forward in a manner that is consistent with its own stated values and with the rule of law.

The investigation into Bishop Malone and his subsequent resignation only occurred because of the courage of survivors of child sexual abuse. Survivors continue to express a desire that the Diocese of Buffalo and the Vatican adopt policies and procedures that provide healing and transparency for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse and for the protection of children.

Any change in leadership of the Diocese of Buffalo does not change our goals of seeking full accountability and transparency.

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