The Buffalo Abuse Cover-Up Allegations: Will ‘Vos Estis’ Be Applied?

National Catholic Register

Sept. 4, 2019

By Lauretta Brown

In May, Pope Francis promulgated his motu proprio Vos Estis Lux Mundi, detailing a new set of norms on handling sex abuse that included procedures for handling accusations against bishops — and one instance where many are clamoring for a thorough investigation according to these new guidelines is in the case of Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, New York.

No allegation of sexual abuse has been made against Bishop Malone, but he has been accused of allowing multiple priests to remain in ministry despite credible abuse allegations against them.

Questions about the Buffalo bishop’s handling of abuse claims have intensified over the last month in the wake of reports about allegations that he failed to take action initially after he was informed of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by Father Jeffrey Nowak.

And on Sept. 4, WKBW investigative reporter Charlie Specht published another damaging report based on a leaked Aug. 2 conversation between Bishop Malone and other senior diocesan officials regarding the allegations against Father Nowak, in which the bishop reportedly commented that the diocese was in a “true crisis situation” because of the possibility that additional damaging information about the priest’s alleged misconduct might be published by local media.

“True crisis,” Bishop Malone continued, according to the WKBW report. “And everyone in the office is convinced this could be the end for me as bishop. It could force me to resign if in fact they make a story.”

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