Buffalo, N.Y., Apr 12, 2019 / 09:52 am
The Bishop of Buffalo said in a statement Thursday that despite media reports to the contrary, he has not been part of any cover-up of clerical sexual abuse, though he does intend to be more transparent about clerical sexual abuse and its financial impact on his diocese.
“For all the progress the Church and this diocese have made in preventing child sexual abuse today and in addressing abuse in the past, I recognize that more needs to be done. Of course, I am acutely aware of the times when I personally have fallen short,” Bishop Richard Malone said in his April 11 statement.
“On behalf of the diocese, I apologize to all those who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of abuse in the past,” the bishop added.
The bishop's statement did not respond directly to calls for his resignation, though it made clear that he intends to remain in his position.
The statement, Malone said, was a response to a local group called the Movement to Restore Trust, which has called the diocese to implement a slate of reforms, including greater collaboration with laity and financial transparency, while also calling the bishop to “revive the Spirit of Vatican II” in the diocese.
The group says it is comprised of “concerned, committed Catholics who are brokenhearted, disillusioned and, yes, angry about the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States, and particularly in our Diocese.”
The group’s organizing committee is comprised mostly of business and non-profit leaders, along with John Hurley, the lay president of Canisius College, a Jesuit school in Buffalo.
The Diocese of Buffalo has said it will work with Movement to Restore Trust to discuss lay collaboration in the diocese, and Malone emphasized that in his statement.