BUFFALO, N.Y. – Friday, many local politicians called on Bishop Richard Malone to resign in the wake of many reports accusing him of covering up allegations of priest sex abuse in the Catholic diocese. At least one priest and one deacon are also joining that call.
"One of the greatest passions of my life is to be able to help people in some way as a deacon. So, this particular crisis hurts very deeply for many people, myself included," deacon Paul Snyder said.
Snyder has been a deacon for 15 years. Friday, he called on Bishop Richard Malone to resign.
"I believe the Bishop is a good man with a good heart, but he's done this wrong. He needs to be held accountable. As a leader of an organization in this community, the standards of conduct for my employees are higher than the standards of conduct that the Bishop is holding priests to based upon what we now know," Snyder said.
Snyder isn't the only person connected to the church calling for Malone's resignation. James Faluszczak served in active ministry as a priest for 18 years. He testified in Pennsylvania about being abused by a priest as a teen. Faluszczak called on Malone to resign months ago.
"It's clear Bishop Malone needs to resign. He has no credibility," Faluszczak said.
"Do you think he will," 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik asked.
"I couldn't speak to that. If he was a wise man, he would do it. If he really was a shepherd after the heart of Christ, he would have to do that if he has a good heart," Faluszczak said.
Both men are also calling for an independent investigation. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says talks are underway to figure out how a potential joint investigation with the New York Attorney General’s office would work.
"We've had a number of conversations with the Attorney General's office over the course of the past ten days as to how logistically we're going to do that. So, I know that there are other counties across the state who are interested as well in participating," Flynn said.
Snyder hopes eventually new leadership helps the diocese heal.
"These are difficult times, and I would encourage people not to lose their faith," Snyder said.
2 On Your Side’s Claudine Ewing reached out to get a response from the Bishop Friday and a spokesperson told her he had no response Friday.