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Malone's future role in Buffalo Diocese unclear

In his open letter to the Buffalo Diocese announcing his retirement, Bishop Richard J. Malone offered Wednesday a general statement about his plans moving forward.

“I intend to continue to live among you as Bishop Emeritus, and to be available to serve in whatever ways that our Apostolic Administrator and new bishop determines is best,” he wrote.

It’s not clear whether Malone meant that he plans to continue living in Buffalo. A native of Salem, Mass., he co-owns a small house on Cape Cod. A diocesan spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry Wednesday regarding Malone’s plans.

A retired bishop becomes a member of the clergy in the diocese, according to Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, who is acting as the apostolic administrator of the Buffalo Diocese until the pope names Malone’s successor.

“It will be a decision I will have to make what role, if any, he would have in the diocese or outside the diocese,” Scharfenberger told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

Malone has been heavily criticized for his handling of a clergy sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the diocese for nearly two years. Protesters had been showing up at his public appearances and calling for him to resign.

Malone’s predecessor, Edward U. Kmiec, lives in the rectory at St. Joseph Cathedral. He retired in 2012 after serving eight years as bishop of the Buffalo Diocese.

Vatican began preparing weeks ago to replace Malone as bishop

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