BUFFALO – Catholic Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo resigned Wednesday, forced to step aside amid mounting calls for his removal from his staff, priests and public over his handling of allegations of clergy sexual misconduct.
The Buffalo Diocese includes Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.
Malone came to Buffalo in 2012, long after many of the allegations took place. But critics say there have been recent missteps by Malone, including his decision to return to ministry a priest who had been suspended by a previous bishop.
The Vatican said Pope Francis accepted the resignation and appointed Edward Scharfenberger, the bishop of Albany, to run the Buffalo Diocese until a permanent replacement is found.
However, the Vatican embassy to the U.S. said Malone only offered to retire after learning the results of a Vatican-mandated investigation into the Western New York diocese and its handling of abuse claims.