Just more than 12 hours after returning from a week-long trip to the Vatican with other bishops from across the state, Bishop Richard Malone released a video statement in which he says Pope Francis understands the “difficulties and distress we here in Buffalo, and I personally, have been experiencing.”  

In a video message released by the Buffalo Catholic Diocese Monday afternoon, Malone says he took part in a two-hour group meeting with the pope on Friday morning along with other bishops from across New York state.

He said a number of topics were discussed during that meeting including care for victim survivors of abuse.

The bishop also confirmed he had a brief, private conversation about the sex abuse scandal the Buffalo diocese is currently facing.

Malone, who was rumored last week to have given a notice of resignation during the trip, made no mention of those suspicions, instead saying only that he remains “wholly committed to fostering the healing of victim survivors, rebuilding trust and, with our clergy and other church ministers, renewing faith and carrying on the essential ministries that serve the needs of Catholics and the larger Western New York community.”

Watch the whole statement here: