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Bishop Malone dodges protesters as he returns from meeting with the Pope

Mike Desmond
Small group of protesters missed seeing Bishop Richard Malone upon his arrival back in Buffalo.

Bishops Richard Malone and Edward Grosz returned from Rome and a meeting with the Pope Sunday night, discreetly exiting Buffalo Niagara International Airport to avoid reporters and protestors.

Well after all the passengers finished leaving a flight from Dulles Airport near Washington, DC, reporters learned the bishops were gone. In a statement, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said it was a matter of safety and security for the traveling public to take measures "routine and common for high-profile travelers."

In its own statement, the diocese said the bishop will issue a statement this week about his ad limina meeting with the Pope.

Tony Parisi was one of the protestors waiting in the airport terminal to show their signs and messages to the bishop.

"It's important because we have been protesting Bishop Malone for a long time, actually for over a year," Parisi said. "Siobahn [O'Connor] has done it by herself for a long time. I have joined the protest movement with Siobahn since last August and I think we are doing the right thing. We're doing it the right way because we are very peaceful and prayerful protestors."

Parisi said the small group of protestors did not plan to say anything as the bishop went by, just to show their signs. He said the bishop getting special help from the NFTA was part of a pattern of avoiding protestors.

"We spoke among ourselves and we determined that no one should say anything. We just hold up the signs, the signs you have already seen, and that was all. That was all," he said. "He has been trying to avoid us for a long time, actually. Since I joined the protestor group last August, when we were protesting at Christ the King Seminary, he just found ways of sneaking in and sneaking out without our detecting him."

Malone's return comes following a report last week from a Vatican reporter that his resignation was "imminent." He has denied the report and has resisted all calls to resign over his handling of the diocese's clergy sex abuse crisis.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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