I greatly respect the courage of Deacon Paul Emerson whose story about being abused as a teenager by a priest was featured on the front page of The Buffalo News on Oct. 14.
Emerson has given years of service to the people of St. Joseph University Parish and has our support. It was very difficult for him to speak publicly. He did so to speak his own truth and encourage others to deal with theirs.
I am appalled by how he was treated when he called the diocesan hotline to report the abuse. He left messages that were not returned until someone intervened for him and the bishop never spoke to him, one of his own deacons, personally to offer support.
The bishop’s establishment of a “task force” and creation of an “Office of Professional Responsibility” are not enough. Bishop Richard Malone should resign. Nothing would speak louder that change is needed, that past policies were misguided and plain wrong and that he is truly sorry for the victims of sexual abuse. Actions speak louder than words.