BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Petitions are circulating calling on Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign for his handling of the sex abuse scandal in the diocese.
The first petition, circulating among clergy of the diocese drafted by Rev. Robert Zilliox, of St. Mary’s Swormville, states;
"Most priests, deacons and the laity of the Diocese at Buffalo have lost trust and confidence in your ability to lead us forward. Therefore, we reiterate our demand that you resign effective immediately."
A second petition circulating on change.org created by "The People of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY" states:
"We request the immediate resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone as Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY. Just as clergy must resign when found guilty of sexual crimes and sins perpetrated under the guise of holiness and authority so must this Bishop resign for being a silent accomplice in these crimes and sins committed by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo."
You can view the change.org petition, which has thousands of signatures, here .
Read the full "no confidence" letter drafted by Rev. Zilliox below.
Dear Bishop Malone and Bishop Grosz:
It is with a heavy heart that we write to demand your resignations as Bishops of Buffalo immediately. We all sought in good faith to work with you for the good of our diocese. However, the events of the past several months in particular, specifically your most recent public statements, as well as the request made by the Movement to Restore Trust, make it clear to all of us that your office as our bishop and chief shepherd has been so compromised, that it is, in fact, no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church at Buffalo to heal and grow in holiness.
As priests and deacons, we are deeply saddened and seriously concerned about the future of the Roman Catholic Diocese at Buffalo. We have heard from the people their prophetic and clarion call for a change in leadership. The revelations that have come to light over the past days, weeks and months have significantly challenged the credibility of your public statements. We, the People of God that constitute our diocese, are angry, hurt, and in need of authentic, humble, sincere and holy spiritual leadership. We believe that despite your good work in the past you are no longer able to provide that leadership.
While this is obviously a difficult request, we believe in our hearts that this is a necessary step that must be taken if healing is to come to the Diocese at Buffalo. Most priests, deacons and the laity of the Diocese at Buffalo have lost trust and confidence in your ability to lead us forward. Therefore, we reiterate our demand that you resign effective immediately.
The Clergy of the Roman Catholic Diocese at Buffalo