The Catholic bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., has resigned following accusations he covered up clergy sex abuse of children. The Vatican didn’t give a reason when it announced on Wednesday that Pope Francis had accepted Bishop Richard Malone’s resignation, however the Vatican’s envoy to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, said in a statement that the bishop had asked the pope last month “to grant him an early retirement” following a church investigation of the charges against him.
In his own statement, Bishop Malone said that the results of that investigation were a factor in his decision to step down, also saying he had made his decision freely and voluntarily because of “divisions and wounds that I am unable to heal” in Buffalo. Both lay Catholics and priests had taken part in a campaign to oust Bishop Malone in Buffalo, starting when his administrative assistant, Siobhan O’Connor, went on television and accused him of covering up accusations of abuse against priests in the diocese.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, N.Y., has been appointed apostolic administrator, or acting bishop, of Buffalo until a permanent replacement is named.
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