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Bishop Who Served In Portland Resigns From His Buffalo Post Amid Criticism Over Clergy Abuse

Frank Franklin II
AP File

A former Catholic Bishop who served in Portland from 2004 to 2012 has resigned from his post at the Diocese in Buffalo, New York, following criticism over his handling of sexual abuse allegations.

The Church announced that it accepted Bishop Richard Malone's resignation early Wednesday.

For months, Bishop Malone had been facing mounting pressure to resign. He was criticized by both his staff and local leaders in Buffalo for protecting priests accused of abuse, and nearly 13,000 people have signed an online petition urging Malone to step down. The New York Attorney General's office also launched an investigation into the Diocese this fall.

In his resignation letter, Malone acknowledged what he describes as mistakes he made in not addressing personnel issues swiftly. He says the Diocese will be better served by a new bishop who is able to bring reconciliation and healing.

Though he says he still plans to serve as a member of the clergy in Buffalo, the new interim-Administrator, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, told reporters that he will decide whether it is appropriate for Malone to serve in the area and in what capacity.

"Naturally I'll be in conversation with him, as well as with the Holy See, as to see what role, if any, would be appropriate for him in the Diocese. And if not, where else," Scharfenberger says.

Originally published Dec. 4, 2019 at 12:27 p.m.