Members of the Movement to Restore Trust contacted Bishop Malone on Thursday and asked him to resign immediately.
“We make this request of Bishop Malone with a degree of humility and sadness,” Movement to Restore Trust said. “We had embarked upon our work with the hope that we could be a catalyst for reform and the restoration of trust of the faithful in the diocese.”
Recent events and disclosures have lead the organization to conclude the diocese is at a critical point and further progress is not possible, despite working with Malone.
They believe continuing to move forward under these circumstances jeopardize their comprehensive reform agenda and compromises their ability to be agents for positive change.
Move to Restore Trust added, “Our decision to ask Bishop Malone to resign was not made lightly and as we have pointed out in the past, the sex abuse scandal in the diocese dates back several decades, long before Bishop Malone arrived here. But it is also true that he has not handled current cases properly and as a result, there is a substantial risk of harm to the diocese and the good works that the Church does in this region.”
Members say the Vatican should appoint a temporary diocesan administrator, a priest with no ties to the Diocese of Buffalo, while it considers the appointment of a permanent Bishop of Buffalo.
At this time, the organization is formally pulling back from all commitments with the diocese.
The diocese acknowledged Movement to Restore’s request by saying, “Thank you for your inquiry. Bishop Richard Malone received word from the MRT organizing group earlier in the day. Due to his full schedule today, which included Mass and a gathering with members of the Bishop’s Council of the Laity, we are unable to issue a statement this evening, but will soon.”
According to a diocese spokesperson, a Listening Session scheduled for Sept. 11 at Niagara University has been canceled. After internal discussions, the university decided not to host the event.
Read the full statement from Movement to Restore Trust below: