Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY, USA has submitted his early resignation to Pope Francis. This was due to accusations that he mishandled situations of abuse in the diocese. In a three page Letter Bishop Malone explained:
As you are well aware, we have faced tremendous turmoil over the past year and a half. Some have attributed this to my own shortcomings, but the turmoil also reflects the culmination of systemic failings over many years in the worldwide handling of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The crisis our Church is facing relates not only to the immoral and criminal acts of those who committed unconscionable offenses toward the most vulnerable, but also to the failure to regard these violations as grave offenses that warranted the full weight of civil and ecclesiastical justice. As you know, major reforms were undertaken in this country in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and in the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. But, of course, the injury caused by past abuse continues to bring immense suffering around the world and here in our Diocese.
I have met with many survivors of child sexual abuse and felt deeply their anguish, which words and gestures alone are inadequate to soothe. I have acknowledged on many occasions the mistakes I have made in not addressing more swiftly personnel issues that, in my view, required time to sort out complex details pertaining to behavior between adults. In extensive listening sessions across our Diocese, I have heard your dismay and rightful concerns. I have been personally affected by the hurt and disappointment you have expressed, all of which have informed our actions. I have sought your understanding, your advice, your patience and your forgiveness.
Diocese of Buffalo release:
Pope Appoints Bishop Scharfenberger Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo
Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo following the resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone on Dec. 4. The appointment is effective immediately. Bishop Scharfenberger will continue to lead and serve the Diocese of Albany simultaneously. Bishop Scharfenberger, who will serve until a new Bishop of Buffalo is named at a later date, will oversee all aspects of the eight-county diocese in Western New York and plans to visit the Diocese of Buffalo weekly.
As Apostolic Administrator, he maintains all the rights, offices and faculties that belong to a diocesan bishop. “I am honored to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo during these challenging times, and I am humbled by the task put before me. I ask for your prayers as we begin this journey together, and I look forward to getting to know the people of this great diocese,” Bishop Scharfenberger said. “I will be doing a lot of listening and learning,” he added, expressing a desire for openness and transparency in his new diocesan appointment, as has been his model in the Diocese of Albany.
In his five and a half years as Bishop of Albany, Bishop Scharfenberger has been a national leader in responding to the clergy abuse crisis. He published a list of offenders in the diocese four years ago, was among the first bishops in the country to call for an independent lay-led investigation of the scandal involving former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, revamped the diocesan review board, and established a predominantly lay task force on sexual abuse last year to make recommendations to the diocese on its response to survivors and its internal policies.
To read Bishop Scharfenberger’s statements and columns related to the sexual abuse crisis, visitwww.rcda.org/bishops-response-abuse-crisis.
For Bishop Scharfenberger’s bio, visit www.rcda.org/about-us/bishop-edward-bscharfenberger .
FULL TEXT Source: https://www.buffalodiocese.org/