Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

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While wishing new Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher success in his new role, a former priest turned advocate for clergy sex abuse victims says Fisher's selection is clouded by the involvement of a former superior, who stepped down from a powerful position within the US Catholic Church amid his own accusations of covering up abuse cases.

File photo/Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

The Roman Catholic Church was scheduled to install Bishop Michael Fisher as the 15th Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo in a Friday afternoon ceremony inside St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown Buffalo. Earlier in the week, WBFO had the opportunity to interview the bishop one-on-one and cover topics including the ongoing COVID pandemic, the Church's role in social justice issues and, of course, the clergy sex abuse scandal which broke nearly three years ago.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese

Washington, D.C. Auxiliary Bishop Michael William Fisher has been appointed by Pope Francis as the fifteenth bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo in an announcement from the Vatican Tuesday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

An advocate for clergy sex abuse victims who had actively called for the removal of Bishop Richard Malone is praising the New York State Attorney General for her lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and its former top leadership.

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His revelation nearly three years ago of sexual abuse by a priest within the Diocese of Buffalo touched off a wave of further complaints, which soon led to the departure of former diocesan leaders. Michael Whalen, when asked about the lawsuit filed against the diocese Monday by the New York State Attorney General, called the action "a big stepping stone" toward justice.

Photo courtesy of Governor's Communications Office

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in New York has reached another all-time low since the peak of the disease in April.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

The Diocese of Buffalo is shutting down Christ the King Seminary at the end of its current academic year.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has revealed a $5 million deficit for its fiscal year 2018-2019 and, according to its own financial report, bankruptcy is "imminent."

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Two more lawsuits are being filed today against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, one of which identifies a local priest as an alleged abuser for the first time, while the other accuses a former auxiliary bishop of providing "hush money" in a 1980s case.

Avery Schneider, WBFO

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, who earlier this week was named the apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Buffalo, tells a Catholic weekly publication that bankruptcy is a "likelihood" for the diocese.

Avery Schneider, WBFO

He came to Buffalo saying he'll be doing a lot of listening and learning. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany met diocesan staff and local news media Wednesday, just hours after the Vatican confirmed the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone.

Diocese of Albany

"Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Buffalo and has appointed Most Reverend Edward B. Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany, as the Apostolic Administrator of Buffalo to serve until the installation of a new bishop," announced the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops early Wednesday morning.

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Bishop Richard Malone is formally denying a tweeted suggestion by a journalist who covers Vatican news that his resignation is "imminent."

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A correspondent for London-based weekly Catholic news publication The Tablet, citing "reliable sources," suggests Bishop Richard Malone's resignation is "imminent," in advance of a Friday meeting between Pope Francis and the bishops of dioceses of New York State.

catholiccourier.com

The Diocese of Rochester, which faces dozens of lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection Thursday morning. Bishop Richard Malone, in his most recent public comments, revealed it's an option still under consideration for the Diocese of Buffalo.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced Tuesday afternoon that Rev. Ryszard Biernat, Bishop Richard Malone's secretary and the diocesan vice chancellor, is taking a leave of absence.

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More than 230 cases are already expected to be filed in Erie County during the statewide one-year window that starts Wednesday and allows survivors of child sex abuse to file charges against their abuser—regardless of when the abuse took place.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A former priest who now leads an agency advocating for victims of  sexual abuse is criticizing the system by which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo processed and compensated abuse cases.

WBFO file photo/Michael Mroziak

The E.B. Green-designed mansion where Buffalo's Catholic bishops once resided is now in the hands of a new owner. The Diocese of Buffalo announced Tuesday that the sale of the property at 77 Oakland Place has closed.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Ash Wednesday, which opens the solemn Christian season of Lent, is a period of time during which faithful examine their own selves, sometimes commit to sacrifices such as giving up an indulgence and seek spiritual cleansing. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, acknowledging its clergy sexual abuse scandal, is marking Ash Wednesday 2019 as the start of a year-long prayer of healing for church abuse victims and the church itself.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Hundreds of Catholic young people turned out over the weekend for the annual Youth Convention, this year carrying the theme "Power Up."

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There's an online petition to stop Bishop Richard Malone from marching in this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced Wednesday afternoon that Father Samuel T. Giangreco, Jr. has been placed on admnistrative leave following a complaint of "sexual misconduct involving an adult female."

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

Buffalo's Catholic Bishop Richard Malone addressed the media in a lengthy press conference following a meeting with priests from across the Diocese. He spoke on the scandal over sexual abuse by members of the clergy, and calls for his resignation over handling of the matter.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Bishop Richard Malone says he made mistakes in handling accusations of sexual abuse by clergy but those errors were not to a level that calls for his resignation. Hours before Malone's remarks to a local radio station, a group of Catholic lay persons stood outside the Diocese of Buffalo's downtown headquarters, renewing the call for change in local church leadership.


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The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo will be in the national spotlight  Sunday night when the CBS news program "60 Minutes" airs a segment on the response to the clergy abuse scandal here.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo confirmed Friday morning they've received a subpoena from the US Attorney's Office in Buffalo, one day after CBS News reported federal investigators are looking into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.

Meanwhile, a former priest turned advocate for sexual abuse victims is raising additional allegations against a priest who, until recently, was heading an East Aurora seminary. 

Bishop admits mistakes, vows to stay on

Sep 9, 2018
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Bishop Richard Malone is again apologizing to parishioners of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. A letter from the Bishop is being read at Masses this weekend in the wake Attorney General Barbara Underwood's decision to begin an investigation into clergy abuse statewide.

ag.ny.gov

Victims of sexual abuse by clergy and those with information about such cases are being encouraged to contact a hotline or file an online complaint form. Those options were announced Thursday by the New York State Attorney General, who has also reportedly issued subpoenas to every diocese within the state, including the Diocese of Buffalo, seeking more information on abuse.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The leader of Canisius College in Buffalo is condemning the Catholic Church in wake of the priest sexual abuse scandal.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met Canisius President John Hurley in his office where he is calling on the Catholic Church to allow women to play a role in restoring faith in the church.

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