Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone gathered local media members Sunday to read a statement in which he pledged to remain in his post despite widening calls for his resignation. He took no questions while vowing to take corrective measures in dealing with accusations of sexual abuse by clergy members.
In his statement Malone:
- Rejected calls for his resignation:
"I stand before you today recommitted to my calling to serve as bishop of Buffalo. The shepherd does not desert the flock at a difficult time."
- Apologized to victims of sexual abuse:
"To the victims of clergical abuse of all ages, children and adults, I am profoundly sorry for the pain this has caused you. While nothing I can say to you could heal the hurt of this tragic breach of trust, as bishop of this diocese, I do extend my most heartfelt apologies."
- Promised to cooperate with any investigation by the state Attorney General or Erie County District Attorney: "Whether we are adequately equipped to meet the heart-wrenching, consistent challenge of clergy sexual abuse, let me say that I hear your concerns, I understand them, I share them."
- Promised to form a task force consisting of lay people, lawmakers and clergy to investigate allegations of sexual abuse:
"Let me be clear, 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. We can do better. We will do better....Today I promise you action."