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Former Maine Bishop Declines To Resign Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

A former leader of the Catholic Church in Maine says he won't resign as a bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo over his handling of sex abuse allegations. Community leaders from the Buffalo area have been calling for Bishop Richard Malone's resignation ever since he was accused earlier this month of protecting priests suspected of sex abuse. But Malone told Buffalo parishioners Sunday he has no plans to step down.

"My handling of recent claims from some of our parishioners concerning sexual misconduct with adults unquestionably has fallen short of the standard to which you hold us and to which we hold ourselves, and I stand before you today recommitted to my calling to serve as Bishop of Buffalo," Malone said. "The shepherd does not desert the flock at a difficult time."

Malone served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland from 2004 to 2012. In light of the recent revelations of past sexual abuse in other dioceses, the Diocese of Portland will observe a day of prayer and repentance in Maine Sept. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.