Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Brooklyn's Bishop DiMarzio to lead Vatican investigation of Bishop Richard Malone and the Diocese of Buffalo

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Ed Condon and JD Flynn
10/4/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The Holy See has announced that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn will lead an Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Bishop Malone

Bishop Malone

Highlights

By Ed Condon and JD Flynn
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/4/2019 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: BISHOPS, WASHINGTON D.C., US


Washington D.C., (CNA) - The Holy See has announced that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn will lead an Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Buffalo.

The visitation, a canonical inspection and fact-finding mission, was ordered by Cardinal Marc Ouellet of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, the Vatican department responsible for overseeing the personal conduct of bishops.

A notice issued by the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC, on Thursday confirmed that the visitation was "non-judicial and non-administrative," meaning that no formal charges are currently being considered against the scandal-plagued Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo.

The nunciature also said that the visitation had not been ordered under the provisions of Vos estis lux mundi, the policy document on sexual abuse and diocesan administration issued May 7 by Pope Francis, which came into effect June 1.

DiMarzio will will assisted by Fr. Steven Aguggia, the judicial vicar of the Brooklyn diocese, who will act as secretary of the visitation. The nunciature did not confirm when the visitation would formally begin, or how long it would continue before transmitting its findings to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome.

"This is a difficult period in the life of the Church in Buffalo," DiMarzio said in a statement released on Oct. 3.

"I pledge I will keep an open mind throughout the process and do my best to learn the facts and gain a thorough understanding of the situation in order to fulfill the mandate of this Apostolic Visitation."

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Diocese of Buffalo said that Malone "welcomes" the apostolic visitation.

"Bishop Malone has committed to cooperate fully and stated that this Visitation is for the good of the Church in Buffalo. The purpose of an apostolic visitation is to assist the diocese and improve the local Church's ability to minister to the people it serves," the diocese said.

"The mission of the Church in Buffalo continues to be to seek justice and compassion for the victim-survivors of sexual abuse and their families and to continue the good works of the church, fulfilled on a daily basis, by faithful men and women who serve a wide spectrum of our diocese."

The diocese added its "heartfelt gratitude" to DiMarzio, and "to the Catholic community of Buffalo, including the lay faithful and the clergy."

The visitation is the second in the U.S. authorized in recent months. Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota was investigated in September by Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis. Sources close to the archbishop tell CNA that Hebda sent to Rome in late September his findings and reccomendation in the case, and is now awaiting further instructions. 
In a year of scandals related to clerical sexual abuse, Malone has repeatedly found himself at the center of media attention.

In November 2018, a former employee leaked confidential diocesan documents related to the handling of claims of clerical sexual abuse.

In August, a RICO lawsuit was filed against the diocese and the bishop, alleging that the response of the diocese was comparable to an organized crime syndicate.

Recordings of private conversations released in early September appeared to show that Malone believed sexual harassment accusations made against a diocesan priest months before the bishop removed the priest from ministry.

The contents of recordings of conversations between Malone and Fr. Ryszard Biernat, his secretary and diocesan vice chancellor, were reported in early September by WKBW in Buffalo.

In the conversations, Malone seems to acknowledge the legitimacy of accusations of harassment and a violation of the seal of confession made against a diocesan priest, Fr. Jeffrey Nowak, by a seminarian, months before the diocese removed Nowak from active ministry.

In an Aug. 2 conversation, Malone can reportedly be heard saying, "We are in a true crisis situation. True crisis. And everyone in the office is convinced this could be the end for me as bishop."

The bishop is also heard to say that if the media reported on the Nowak situation, "it could force me to resign."

Malone, 73, has led the Buffalo diocese since 2012. He was ordained a priest of Boston in 1972, and became an auxiliary bishop in that diocese in 2000, two years before a national sexual abuse scandal emerged in the United States, centered on the Archdiocese of Boston and the leadership of Cardinal Bernard Law. Malone was Maine's bishop from 2004 until 2012.

"Our Holy Father has a great devotion to Our Lady Untier of Knots," DiMarzio said, "I beg the intercession of the Blessed Mother, that I may be an instrument for surfacing the truth so that justice might be served and God's mercy experienced."

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


Comments


More Politics & Policy

US bishops in Rome ask Pope Francis about McCarrick report Watch

Image of

American bishops from the Midwest met with Pope Francis this week with questions about the outcome of the Vatican's investigation of ... continue reading


Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide Watch

Image of Priest

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone ... continue reading



China punishes families of those who speak out in America, Congress hears Watch

Image of

A Uighur-American whose mother has been held captive in a Chinese detention camp was one of several witnesses to testify on Tuesday before ... continue reading


Survey: Americans dissatisfied with bishops' response to sex abuse crisis Watch

Image of Young man in church

 Americans largely disapprove of the way the U.S. bishops have handled the sex abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church, a new survey ... continue reading


What do practicing Catholics think about the 2020 election? Watch

Image of President Trump

Catholics who say they accept all Church teachings are more likely than other Americans to say they are planning to vote for Donald Trump ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.