PORTLAND — Officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese have announced that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Most. Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York.
The Holy Father’s appointment was announced on Tuesday, May 29, at the Vatican. As is the custom, Bishop Malone traveled to Buffalo for the official public announcement. The date of his installation will be August 10, 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.
Bishop Malone was installed as the 11th Bishop of Portland in March of 2004. Prior to his assignment in Maine, he served as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston upon his Episcopal ordination in 2000.
“I am most grateful to our Holy Father for his trust in appointing me Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo,” stated Bishop Malone. “While there is sadness in my heart at leaving the Catholic faithful of Maine, especially the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians and lay leaders, I look forward with enthusiasm to taking up my responsibility as chief shepherd of the Church of Buffalo. I am very grateful to follow in the footsteps of Bishop Kmiec who is a loving, faithful and generous servant of the Gospel,” he added.
During a press conference in Buffalo on Tuesday, retiring Bishop Edward U. Kmiec said that Bishop Malone can expect a warm welcome in Buffalo.
“Bishop Malone comes to Western New York with tremendous experience and a wonderful reputation for being a caring, pastoral bishop and a true shepherd to his people,” said Bishop Kmiec. “I am sure the faithful of the diocese will be ready and willing to support him to further the mission of the diocese. He will quickly learn that the people of this region are noted for being good neighbors, not just as citizens, but as active participants in the life of Church.”
Now that the official announcement has been made, Bishop Malone becomes the administrator for the Diocese of Portland. A new administrator will be chosen by the College of Consultors (a group of priests appointed and required to be consulted regarding specific important matters) directly after Bishop Malone is installed in Buffalo. It could be up to a year before the Vatican names a new Bishop for the Diocese of Portland.