Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard Malone is reportedly stepping down on Wednesday.
The reports were sparked by a report by Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo, who runs the blog "Whispers in the Loggia."
Palmo further reports that Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany is set to be appointed as an interim administrator until a permanent replacement is found.
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo did not respond to an inquiry about a resignation from the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal as of press time, but several media outlets have reported Kathy Spangler, director of communications, had not denied the report and declined comment.
In October, a bishop tasked by the Holy See to examine Malone’s conduct amid allegations of sexual abuse in the diocese finished his work.
As part of his review, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio made three fact-finding trips to Western New York. Associated Press reported that he spent a total of seven days meeting with and interviewing about 80 people in and outside the clergy and was expected to submit a full report to the Vatican.
At the time, Malone said he welcomed the process, called an apostolic visitation.
Malone has maintained that he will remain a bishop until March 19, 2021, when he turns 75, the age at which he is required by canon law to submit his resignation to the pope.
The diocese is the subject of dozens of lawsuits by people who claim to have been sexually abused by priests as children. A state law adopted earlier this year suspends the usual statute of limitations and opened a one-year period during which victims can file suits regardless of when the abuse occurred.
Although most of the abuse occurred long before Malone’s arrival in Buffalo, he has acknowledged mishandling claims involving adult victims.
Over the past year, two key members of Malone’s staff have gone public with concerns about his leadership, including his former secretary who secretly recorded him calling a then-active priest “a sick puppy” and fretting about his own future.