BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone has found a buyer for his palatial mansion on Oakland Place.
Buffalo Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler confirmed Thursday that the mansion is under contract but would not identify the potential buyer.
"We will not disclose details until it has closed," she said in an email.
Malone in April announced he was selling the mansion -- owned by the diocese since 1952 and appraised at more than $1 million -- to help compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.
The diocese plans to pay at least $11 million in payments to victims through its settlement program. Internal documents obtained previously by 7 Eyewitness News show the diocese has a surplus of $48 million.
Malone is now living in a former convent at St. Stanislaus parish on Buffalo's East Side. Records show he spent at least $200,000 to upgrade that residence before moving in.
KEY LINKS IN THE BUFFALO DIOCESE SEX ABUSE SCANDAL:
Part 1of the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team investigation revealed that Malone returned Fr. Art Smith to ministry despite allegations of inappropriate contact with a child. Malone returned the accused priests to ministry after a previous bishop suspended him, documents obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show.
Part 2 revealed that Malone allowed Fr. Robert Yetter to remain pastor of St. Mary's in Swormville despite multiple sexual harassment allegations by young men.
Part 3 cited church records that showed more than 100 priests in the diocese were accused of sexual abuse or misconduct. Malone in March released a list of only 42 priests "who were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor."
The investigative series sparked Buffalo civic leaders to call for Malone's resignation and Catholics have mounted weekly protests in front of the Diocese of Buffalo Chancery. Malone in August held a news conference and refused to resign as Buffalo bishop.
In September, the State Attorney General launched a statewide investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and last week, it was revealed the FBI has launched its own criminal investigation into the diocese.
In October, "60 Minutes" aired a national investigative story on Bishop Malone and the Diocese of Buffalo.
In November, I-Team Chief Investigator Charlie Specht traveled to Portland, Maine. Malone served as bishop there before coming to Buffalo. There, Charlie spoke with advocates for victims of sexual abuse about how Malone had been accused of mishandling sex abuse cases. The I-Team also obtained new documents surrounding the cases which paint a much different picture of the bishop’s past.
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