Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, it was announced Monday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Diocese of Buffalo.
Bishop Grosz reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops when he turned 75 on Feb. 16. Catholic canon law dictates that bishops relinquish their administrative duties at that time.
Grosz had written to Pope Francis asking for permission to retire more than a month ago, according to Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Buffalo Diocese. Scharfenberger told The Buffalo News in January that Grosz had told him he had sent a letter to the pope.
Grosz will continue to provide sacramental ministry throughout the diocese in his retirement, the Diocese of Buffalo said in a statement.
Throughout the diocese's clergy sex abuse scandal, advocates for abuse survivors increasingly have questioned what role Grosz played in helping to keep cases of abuse under wraps in his nearly 30 years as a top diocese administrator. Grosz, who was installed as auxiliary bishop in 1990, often reached out to victims on behalf of the diocese, while at the same time leading inquiries into clergy misconduct complaints.
The scandal prompted Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign on Dec. 4, 2019, 15 months before he was due to submit his resignation letter to the pope.
Some clergy sex abuse survivors had called upon Grosz to step down as well.
Grosz did not attend the introductory news conference for Scharfenberger, held the same day that Malone's resignation was announced.
Grosz, originally from Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood, served in a high-level chancery post since 1990, under four ordinary bishops.
He served in many capacities as a priest and bishop, including as parochial vicar, pastor, episcopal vicar, director of the Office of Worship and for 11 years as chaplain for the Felician Sisters in Buffalo at their motherhouse in Cheektowaga. On Nov. 22, 1989, he was appointed auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Buffalo and ordained to the episcopacy on Feb. 2, 1990.
Grosz attended Assumption School, the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary, both in Buffalo, and St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and a master of divinity degree. Following his ordination as a priest in 1971, Grosz attended the University of Notre Dame here he earned a master's degree in liturgy.