BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Bishop Richard Malone returned to Buffalo Sunday night after a trip to Rome.

Protesters and the media were awaiting his arrival, but Malone managed to avoid them, having Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials take him through a side door.

This comes days after a report stated that Malone’s resignation was imminent.

Bishop Malone denied it himself telling a journalist in Rome that rumors of his resignation are “absolutely false.”

News 4 spoke with that journalist, Chris Altieri, the Rome Bureau Chief for the Catholic Herald, who interviewed Malone directly.

“He said ‘Absolutely false’ and then he said ‘Thanks very much. That’s the end of our conversation,” Altieri said.

Malone was in Rome to meet with the Pope as part of the Ad Limina, a trip that bishops must take every five years to report directly to the Pope on the state of their diocese.

Tweets shared by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo showed Bishop Richard Malone with Bishop Grosz, who serves as Auxiliary Bishop of the Buffalo Diocese.

The NFTA released a statement saying that they helped the bishop as a routine security measure. That “it is in the best interest of the public” to avoid risks during busy travel times.