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By Charlie Specht, WKBW, Sept. 04, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s the morning of Friday, Aug. 2, and Bishop Richard J. Malone hasn’t slept for two nights.
“We are in a true crisis situation,” Malone said. “True crisis. And everyone in the office is convinced this could be the end for me as bishop. It could force me to resign if in fact they make a story…”
Malone is at his sprawling residence on Buffalo’s East Side for a one-on-one meeting with his trusted secretary, Rev. Ryszard Biernat, and the embattled bishop is concerned about a brewing story regarding Christ the King Seminary, allegations of love letters and claims of sexual harassment by a diocesan priest.
“I think we’re gonna blow this story up into something like an atom bomb if we start talking about that. You know?” Malone said to Biernat. “Cause then it sounds like, it sounds like a soap opera. It sounds like a love triangle. And you know what the media can do with that.”
The story Malone was referring to involves Biernat, seminarian Matthew Bojanowski and Rev. Jeffrey Nowak, pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Cheektowaga. The bishop makes it clear he doesn’t want the full story to get out.
“With all the else that’s going on in the diocese and all the, all the attacks on my credibility…that I’ve known that something’s going on here that shouldn’t be and I let it go…I mean this is a disaster,” Malone said.
When he met with church officials Steve Halter and Kathy Spangler last month, he said even his loyal advisers could feel the walls closing in.
“You know, they really scared me,” Malone told Biernat. “They kept saying, ‘You know this could be the end, bishop. This could be the end.’”
‘More than harassment’ ……