A report by an independent news source indicates that Richard J. Malone, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, will resign on Wednesday.
According to a report by Rocco Palmo, an independent journalist who covers the Catholic Church, following Malone’s resignation, Pope Francis will name Edward Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany, as apostolic administrator of Buffalo until a permanent replacement is installed. The Buffalo News also confirmed the report.
In an email response, Kathy Spangler, diocese spokeswoman told TAPinto Greater Olean that the diocese "has no comment at this time.”
Regarding Scharfenberger’s potential appointment as apostolic administrator, Mary DeTurris Poust, communications director for the Albany Diocese, provided TAPinto Greater Olean with the following statement:
"There has been no announcement from the Holy See regarding the Diocese of Buffalo. Unless and until the Holy See makes an announcement, we cannot offer any comment.”
Scharfenberger, a 71-year-old Brooklyn native, was ordained in 1973 and has served as Albany's bishop since 2014. According to the Albany Diocese's website, he received his bachelor's degree in sacred theology from Pontifical Gregorian University in 1972, a license in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in 1980 and a law degree from Fordham University in 1990 before being admitted to the New York State Bar in 1991. Prior to his appointment as bishop, he served as judicial vicar for the Diocese of Brooklyn, then was named the episcopal vicar of Queens.
A Nov. 13 report by Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for The Tablet, a Catholic international weekly review published in London, stated that Malone's resignation was "imminent" after the recent completion of an apostolic visitation by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio following reports of a lack of oversight by the diocese regarding clerical abuse.
Lamb’s report came during Malone’s Ad Limina pilgrimage to Rome with other bishops from across New York State and two days before he was due to meet with the Holy Father. Following his return, Malone released a video statement, confirming that the results of the Apostolic Visitation by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio are with the Congregation for Bishops and acknowledged a conversation he had with Congregation Prefect Cardinal Marc Ouellet. However, he did not specify further.
In the statement, Malone, asked Western New York Catholics “for your prayers and patience while the path forward is discerned.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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