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Letter: Malone should step down to let healing occur

I take no pleasure in writing this, but I must respectfully urge Bishop Richard Malone to resign.

In the midst of Buffalo’s clergy abuse scandal, there must be a single focus for us all. That focus must be on healing for the victims and their families and preventing further abuse. Everything must spring from these goals and contribute toward these goals. Anything else is a distraction.

Through the bishop’s repeated refusal to handle abuse claims properly, he has harmed the diocese and many individuals. While we certainly cannot hold him responsible for the misdeeds and crimes of others occurring decades ago, we should hold him accountable for his own actions.

Some of the bishop’s recent steps show signs of heading in a better direction, including the institution of a better system and procedures for investigating claims. But it seems that the bishop is still not really “getting it.”

The recent audio recordings indicate that the bishop continues to focus on whether he can remain in office, as opposed to focusing on how best to bring about healing for victims. This is wrong, and this must end.

The bishop’s resignation will not be a magic wand that makes all problems disappear, but it will be a necessary starting point, so that we can begin to rebuild trust.

Tendering a resignation would be an act of faith, hope and love. It would not be easy, and it would take courage. I will be praying for our bishop and all of us.

Anne F. Downey

Boston, N.Y.

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