BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–“The reverence that a bishop especially had, you know, walked on water. And to see it turn out like this. It’s sad, but once again, I just think he brought it upon himself.”
Gary Astridge, of Tonawanda, is almost indifferent about the pending resignation of Bishop Richard Malone.
Astridge turned his back on the Catholic church long before he filed a lawsuit against the diocese, on claims he was repeatedly abused as a child during the 1960s by Father Edward Townsend, a religious order priest who worked at the former Cardinal Dougherty High School in North Buffalo.
“It involved rape a number of times, and really anything you can imagine, unfortunately,” Astridge said. “It leaves me in disbelief. And that’s why, in my opinion, this guy is supposed to be a leader, and he’s really not. He’s really not.”
None of the hundreds of sex abuse cases against the Buffalo Diocese, including Astridge’s, are alleged to have happened under Malone’s watch, but Malone has directed the church’s reaction to the scandal, once the history was brought to light.
Astridge is represented by attorney Steve Boyd, who has filed hundreds of Child Victims Act claims against the Buffalo and Rochester diocese.
Boyd says Malone’s resignation doesn’t change his legal path forward but it could help bring closure for some survivors.
“By burying it, by dancing around it, he’s caused everybody more pain. And that’s why he’s lost all credibility in this community,” Boyd said.
And he says even the notion of retirement is insulting to his clients.
Boyd added, “It’s more spin. It’s more spin. He’s not going because he’s tired. He’s going because he has lost the flock.”
Attorney Mike Taheri, who’s currently not representing anyone suing the diocese, joined News 4 to break down the recent developments in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese: