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Bishop Malone denies "imminent resignation," diocesan spokesperson tells TV reporter

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Bishop Richard Malone is formally denying a tweeted suggestion by a journalist who covers Vatican news that his resignation is "imminent."

Christopher Lamb, who covers Vatican news for the London-based Tablet, tweeted Wednesday that, according to his unnamed but reliable sources, Malone's resignation was pending. Malone and the other bishops of New York State are scheduled to meet Friday with Pope Francis, as those clergy conclude their weeklong "ad lumina" visitation to Rome.

WGRZ's Steve Brown reported Thursday afternoon that Diocese of Buffalo spokesperson Kathy Spangler had been in contact with that station, relaying a message from Malone stating "the Lamb tweet is false."

Twice Wednesday the Diocese had issued statements related to Lamb's message but not directly denying nor comfirming it. The first message was "We have received no information in that regard."

Later in the afternoon, Spangler issued the following written statement: "Bishop Malone continues to serve as the leader of the Diocese of Buffalo.  He is currently engaged with the other bishops of New York State in their Ad Limina visit, discussing with officials of the Holy See and with Pope Francis the areas of challenge and progress of the Catholic Church in New York State and the scope of the vibrant ministries serving the needs of New Yorkers, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. When Bishop Malone returns to Buffalo he will be communicating further about his meeting with the Holy Father and the other participating bishops."

WBFO spoke with Lamb Thursday about Bishop Malone's denial. He is standing by his reporting and told WBFO, "Let's see. Time will tell."

Malone is under intense scrutiny and has faced numerous calls for resignation for his handling of a clergy sex abuse crisis which began in February 2018, when the first of numerous accusers came forward to say they were abused as minors by priests who served within the Diocese of Buffalo. Since then, with the Child Victims Act becoming law, the Diocese has been named in approximately 170 civil lawsuits.

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