Bishop Malone Resigns After Investigation Revealed Secret List Of Abusive Priests
The Vatican Press Office has announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Richard J. Malone, Bishop of the Buffalo (NY) Diocese, following months of controversy over Malone’s handling of reports of sexually abusive priests in his diocese. The Vatican’s press release stated that Malone’s resignation was effective “immediately” and that Monsignor Edward B. Scharfenberger, also of the Buffalo Diocese, would handle administrative affairs of the diocese pending the appointment of Malone’s successor.
According to an announcement published by the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States (the equivalent of the Vatican’s Ambassador to the United States), Malone resigned after being informed of the findings of a special investigation into the affairs of the Buffalo Diocese. The results of that investigation, which was conducted by Papal envoy the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, have not been released.
According to reporting by the New York Times and other sources, a whistleblower within the Buffalo Diocese revealed that Bishop Malone had kept a secret file containing details of sexually abusive clergy, both active and retired, in his diocese. It was later revealed that Malone had been reluctant to remove one particularly disturbed priest from his parish, even though Malone himself had described that priest as a “sick puppy.” In the weeks prior to Malone’s resignation, a survey of local parishioners revealed that 86% of Catholics in the Buffalo Diocese had lost confidence in Malone and thought that he should be replaced or forced to resign.
In his letter of resignation, Malone stated “I have concluded, after much prayer and discernment, that the people of Buffalo will be better served by a new bishop who perhaps is better able to bring about the reconciliation, healing and renewal that is so needed …” He further acknowledged that he had been at fault “… in not addressing more swiftly personnel issues …” but also attempted to blame part of the controversy on the “… culmination of systemic failings in the worldwide handling of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy …”
The controversy surrounding Bishop Malone is only the latest facet of the decades-long scandal related to the hierarchy of the Roman Church’s failure to deal with pedophile and predators among the ordained clergy, even though many in positions of authority were well-aware of such behavior. In fact, many of these “higher ups” deliberately concealed reports of criminal sexual assaults on children by these priests and then lied to outside investigators when the scandal became public knowledge over 30 years ago! Sadly, sexual predators and abusers among the clergy is not limited to the Roman Church.
As we have previously noted, sexual abuse by clergymen in the Protestant denominations is far more common than those denominations would care to acknowledge. However, due to the semi-independent organization of most Protestant churches, the actual number of abusers among their clergy is difficult to estimate. None the less, we can safely say that the number of predatory clergy among Protestants is probably equal to, if not greater than, those in the ranks of the Roman Church.
Predatory clergymen often use their positions in a church to coerce sexual favors from members of their congregations, often selecting their younger and/or the more emotionally vulnerable as their victims. If their crimes are discovered, it isn’t unusual for the senior members of a congregation to actively work to “avoid a scandal” by further intimidating a victim into not taking legal action against their abusers.
If you or a family member have been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, regardless of your denomination, we urge you to contact the clergy sexual abuse lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national personal injury law practice with offices located throughout the country.
When you contact the clergy sexual abuse lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, you case review and first consultation with our staff is always free of any charges and does obligate you in any to hire us as your legal counsel. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in order, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we will win for you.