Bishop Malone Rejects Calls to Resign
In the face of ever-increasing calls to resign, Bishop Richard Malone on Sunday issued a statement that after discussions with colleagues, friends, brothers and sisters in ministry, he has recommitted himself to continue serving as Bishop of Buffalo. "The shepherd does not desert the flock at a difficult time"
But while maintaining his leadership of the Diocese, Malone pledged action in the face of continued revelations of clergy sexual misconduct. The Bishop pledged to establish a task force to investigate the Diocese's procedures for handling claims of inappropriate conduct and to recommend methods for honoring ALL victims whether they be children or adults. The task force will be made up of laity, clergy and some elected officials will be invited to serve as well.
The bishop regrets his recent handling of claims from some adult parishioners who claim they too had been victims of sexual misconduct involving priests. The bishop says he fell short of the standard to which he is held and to which he holds himself.
The bishop stated, "We can do better. We will do better."
Bishop Malone also issued an apology to the victims of clerical abuse...children and adults. "While nothing I can say to you could heal the hurt of this tragic breach of trust, I do as bishop of this diocese extend my most heartfelt apologies. I want you to know that we will do all we can to restore your faith, to help you heal, and to help you begin to move forward."
Here is the complete statement issued by the Bishop on Sunday afternoon.