Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo one month after a Vatican authorized investigation into his diocese which has been roiled by claims that he has mishandled numerous abuse cases.

The resignation was announced Wednesday by the Holy See Press office.

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Albany has been named apostolic administrator until a successor is named in Buffalo.

 For more than a year, Malone has been engulfed in charges that he knowingly covered up for priests credibly accused of abuse. In February 2018, a retired priest, Father Norbert F. Orsolits, acknowledged that he had molested “probably dozens” of teenage boys in the 1970s and ’80s.

Those revelations sparked ongoing scrutiny of Malone’s leadership, and he has resisted numerous calls to step down from clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders within the diocese where he has served as bishop since 2012.

Malone was in Rome last month with bishops from New York state for regularly scheduled ad limina meetings with Francis and the Roman Curia.

 Despite the cloud of scandal looming over him, he was the principal celebrant for a Mass celebrated at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome on November 12, where he quoted from Francis’s catechesis on Christian hope, saying “in these times that appear dark, in which we sometimes feel disoriented by the evil and violence that surround us, by the distress of so many of our brothers and sisters, we need hope!”
Read more at Crux 

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