Richard Malone is no longer bishop of Buffalo's Catholic diocese, and Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger will take over as administrator of the diocese until a permanent replacement is found.
Malone has been under pressure since March 2018 when victims started coming forward accusing priests of sex abuse. During that time, Malone was almost defiant in refusing to step down.
In a statement posted Wednesday morning, Scharfenberger said he is "honored" to take over leadership of the Diocese of Buffalo. Scharfenberger, in his first public appearance since taking over in Buffalo, says he isn’t sure why he has been chosen to temporarily lead the diocese, but says he is ready and wants to set a tone of open dialogue – something he says he’s done in Albany.
"We’re all family. The survivors of sexual abuse are our family," the bishop said. "I want everyone to know they were treated with respect and continue as I do in the Diocese of Albany to say as I do in Albany, if you see something, say something. Never be afraid to come forward."
Scharfenberger also says he’ll work with and support local clergy and parishioners across the diocese. As for the couple of hundred lawsuits against the church, he also touched on the possibility of filing for bankruptcy and creating financial transparency.
As for the rest of the administration, Bishop Scharfenberger says he no plans of making any changes. He is expected to stay on until the pope selects a new bishop.
Albany is also facing a number of lawsuits. Former Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard is named in at least four.