BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Buffalo's scandal-ridden Bp. Richard Malone is playing the victim in describing his meeting with Pope Francis.
In a new video released Monday, Malone describes the ad limina visits he and other New York bishops held with the pope at the Vatican last week.
"In a few words spoken privately to me, it was clear that the Pope understands the difficulties and distress we here in Buffalo, and I personally, have been experiencing," Malone says. "He was very understanding and kind."
He makes no mention of the victims of homosexual clerical abuse, which Malone has been accused of covering up for and mishandling.
Former Buffalo seminarian and whistleblower Wieslaw Walawender tells Church Militant, "It's a sad story because Buffalo has a leadership that refuses to acknowledge reality from the perspective of the Catholic faith."
He goes on to note:
It's unfortunate that the comment and the visit with the pope involves another opportunity to massage [Malone's] ego. I would hope that Malone would see reality for the sake of the victims and for the Catholics of the diocese of Buffalo who are suffering due to the lack of leadership, lack of transparency and lack of faith.
Walawender adds, "We have a situation where the shepherd is running away from the sheep because he doesn't want the smell of the sheep on himself," referring to Malone's return from Rome on Sunday, where about a dozen protesters were present at the airport to greet him. Malone never saw the protesters because airport security whisked him out of a celebrity exit.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), which handles security for the airport, commented:
As a matter of security and safety to our traveling public, measures were taken that are routine and common for high profile travelers. When there is the potential for a security issue at the airport, it is in the best interest of the public to do everything possible to avoid risk and or threats, especially during the busy travels [sic] times.
A former law enforcement agent told Church Militant, "If the airport thought that these protesters were an actual security risk, they would not have been permitted into the airport."
He added, "The notion is ridiculous. I suspect Bp. Malone is just a coward who called for assistance."