Diocese of Buffalo to sell bishop's residence to raise funds for sex abuse victim program
The E.B. Green-designed mansion where Bishop Richard Malone and five other Roman Catholic bishops have resided will be put up for sale this summer. Bishop Malone announced the decision to sell the Bishop's Residence on Oakland Place to raise funds for a program set up to assist victims of alleged past sexual abuse by clergy.
The Bishop's Residence was built in 1928 for the Forman family but sold to the Diocese of Buffalo in 1952. Malone is the sixth bishop to reside at the address. Priests serving on the bishop's staff have also resided on the property.
Proceeds from the sale of the Bishop's Residence will go toward the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, which was announced earlier this year to aid victims who have previously come forward with accusations of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. In recent weeks, several victims have emerged to publicly accuse their alleged abusers. Forty two priests who served from 1950 to the early 2000s have now been identified as being accused.
"In the face of this crisis, in reaching out to victims and the need, really, to have strong resources for the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program that we announced a while ago - and we do have some good resources already but we know we'll need more - we decided to put the residence on the market."
Malone did not express a desired asking price, noting that the house has yet to be appraised and the decision to sell was made "in just the past couple of days."
That decision, according to Malone, came following consultation with the Diocesan Finance Council, College of Consultors and the Presbyteral Council.
The bishop will soon move into the former convent house of the St. Stanislaus Parish on Townsend Street in Buffalo's Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.
The trustees of the parish voted on that unanimously on Sunday and they're very happy," Malone said. "The Diocese will be leasing the building, which will of course provide some monthly income for the parish The Diocese will also pick up the maintenance and utilities and all that, so it's really a win-win. It's a good thing for me to be over there."
St. Stanislaus is embraced by Buffalo's Polish-American community as its mother church of Polonia. Malone said at the same time, the neighborhood is changing, with encouraging signs of future redevelopment at the nearby Central Terminal and new populations, including immigrants, settling in.
"For all those reasons, believe it or not I am looking forward to this change," he said.
Malone also announced that another diocesan property is being put on the market, the Sheehan Residence for retired priests on at Linwood Avenue and Utica Street in Buffalo. Built in 1928, it was originally the rectory for what was then St. Joseph's Cathedral on Delaware Avenue. When the cathedral was torn down in 1970, the three-story rectory was converted into a home for retired priests, featuring 12 suite-style units.
Those currently living in the Sheehan Residence will be relocated to other diocesan homes for retired priests. Proceeds from that sale will fund the Retired Diocesan Priests' Medical Benefits Fund.