The Circus in Buffalo, by Stephen P. White

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Bishop Malone

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, Sept. 12, 2019

Note: The Papal Posse rides again! Tonight on The World Over, host Raymond Arroyo, TCT‘s Robert Royal, and Fr. Gerald Murray will discuss the latest developments in the Church. The program airs at 8:00 Eastern. Check your local listings for the station in your area. And be sure to visit EWTN’s YouTube channel soon after to view this and all the network’s great programs.

Stephen P. WhiteThings aren’t looking great for Bishop of Buffalo Richard Malone. A federal grand jury is investigating his diocese’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases. That on top of the ongoing, state-wide investigation of New York’s eight Catholic dioceses being conducted by the state’s attorney general. And then there are the scores of civil suits filed recently under the Child Victims Act, seeking damages in cases previously beyond the statute of limitations. It seems likely that an ecclesial investigation of Bishop Malone will be next.

Questions about Bishop Malone’s handling of abuse have been in the news since last year, when a former assistant released a trove of documents showing the diocese dissembling – that’s being charitable – in its handling of several cases. Malone, for his part, has acknowledged making mistakes and apologized: “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.”

But Bishop Malone has also, thus far, insisted that he will not resign – not so long as he believes that he has the support of his flock. “The shepherd,” he says, “does not desert the flock at a difficult time.” In recent weeks, Malone’s already precarious situation has become even more so.

In August, two seminarians announced they were leaving Buffalo’s Christ the King Seminary over concerns about the harassment of seminarians. One of those seminarians, Matthew Bojanowksi, had reported to Bishop Malone that a local diocesan priest, Fr. Jeffrey Nowak, had sexually harassed him. The allegations against Fr. Nowak also included breaking the seal of Confession. ….