While initial reaction has been positive to the appointment of 66 year old Richard Malone as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, there is a nationwide organization that is taking strong exception.
"We’re concerned any time the Vatican promotes corrupt or complicit bishop to a higher position. That’s what’s happening here essentially," said David Clohessy, National Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP.
Although the issue of pedophile priests surfaced in the 1980s, it exploded in 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston. In Buffalo this week, Malone emphasized he’s a firm believer in transparency.
According to Clohessy, Malone was anything but transparent when allegations surfaced about
pedophile priests in Portland, Maine.
"Bishop Malone, while the head of the Catholic Diocese in Maine, repeatedly erred on the side of secrecy and not openness and we believe he needlessly put kids in harm’s way by refusing to disclose the names and the status and the whereabouts of child molesting priests," said Chohessy.
Bishop Malone addressed the pedophile priest issue during a press availability this week at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna.
"When I became the bishop of Portland in 2004, not having been embroiled in any of that stuff in Boston myself, I was determined ... determined to do all I could in Maine as a new bishop to do things right. We had every year ... there’s an independent outside audit that’s done on safe environment, and, we have the last five or six years ours has been one hundred percent crystal clear that we’re doing it right," said Malone.
Bishop Malone was an auxiliary bishop in Boston from 2000 to 2004.