As a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, I am concerned with the healing of both adult and child victims of abuse. I desire the reconciliation and the healing of the divisions in our diocese. I long for the sanctification of the clergy and the growth in holiness of the all of the People of God. With all of this in mind: Here are three reasons why I support the Most Reverend Richard J. Malone.
• 1. With Malone we can move forward, without him we are stuck in this mire and muck for another two years, at least: Why? Canon Law!
If the bishop were to resign and Pope Francis were to accept his resignation, then either an apostolic administrator would be appointed by the pope or the college of consultors (of which I am one) would elect a diocesan administrator to run the diocese until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis and he takes possession of the diocese.
In either case, the administrator, must not prejudice rights of the next bishop, and as a result what is currently in place would be maintained and nothing could be changed until the new bishop arrives. Our diocese would go to the back of the line and it could be a year-and-a-half to two years before a new bishop is appointed. Do we want to wait that long to begin the healing process?
• 2. Malone has already made many necessary changes that will bear fruit in greater acountibility: As one of my brother priests pointed out in a recent meeting, we have already moved further in the last six months than the last 10 years on this issue.
• 3. I know from my own personal knowledge of him that Malone, humbled and tried in the crucible of our recent difficulties has the spiritual and moral character to lead us beyond this.
Malone has repeatedly and I am sure will continue to apologize for the shortcomings of the past. What I witnessed at that meeting Nov. 6, makes me confident and hopeful that we can move into a time of healing and reconciliation.
To those who may disagree with my assessment, I only ask that we withhold judgment until we see the fruit of this. By their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:20).
Rev. Dennis Mancuso