BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Bishop of Brooklyn has been appointed by the Vatican to lead an investigation into the Buffalo Roman Catholic Diocese.
The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn will lead the effort. The Buffalo Diocese and Bishop Richard Malone have been criticized for the response to the priest sex abuse crisis.
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“This is a difficult period in the life of the Church in Buffalo. I pledge I will keep an open mind throughout the process and do my best to learn the facts and gain a thorough understanding of the situation in order to fulfill the mandate of this Apostolic Visitation," said Bishop DiMarizo in a statement.
In response to this development, the Buffalo Diocese issued the following statement:
Bishop Malone welcomes Apostolic Visitation
Bishop Richard Malone announced today that he welcomes an Apostolic Visitation by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. The Visitation is coordinated by the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. and will include a review of the Diocese of Buffalo. Bishop Malone has committed to cooperate fully and stated that this Visitation is for the good of the Church in Buffalo. The purpose of an apostolic visitation is to assist the diocese and improve the local Church’s ability to minister to the people it serves.
The Vatican defines an Apostolic Visitation as “an exceptional initiative of the Holy See which involves sending a visitor or visitors to evaluate an ecclesiastical institute such as a seminary, diocese, or religious institute. Apostolic Visitations are intended to assist the institute to improve the way in which it carries out its function in the life of the Church.” Apostolic Visitations are made on behalf of the pope, who is the pastor of the universal Church.
Heartfelt gratitude is expressed to all those who are working so generously on this Visitation – first, to our Apostolic Visitator, Bishop DiMarzio and his assistant, and to the Catholic community of Buffalo, including the lay faithful and the clergy.
The mission of the Church in Buffalo continues to be to seek justice and compassion for the victim-survivors of sexual abuse and their families and to continue the good works of the church, fulfilled on a daily basis, by faithful men and women who serve a wide spectrum of our diocese.
Please find a copy of the Communique from the Apostolic Nunciature and a statememt released by Bishop DiMarzio attached.
Neither Bishop Malone nor his spokeswoman will be making any further comments on this matter.