Diocese Unveils Adult Misconduct Policy

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN The Buffalo Catholic Diocese has unveiled a new policy of priest misconduct toward adults. Bishop Richard Malone mentioned this during a WBEN interview last week.

"Sexual misconduct by clergy directed toward adults is contrary to Christian principles and inconsistent with the mission of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a shameful abuse of authority by a cleric taking advantage of an adult. All bishops, priests and deacons (clergy), religious, seminarians, and lay ecclesial ministers must comply with federal, state, and local laws regarding incidents of actual or suspected abuse or misconduct, and with the policies and procedures included in this document. In addition, they must exercise heightened vigilance to these offenses," says the diocese in its policy statement.

The diocese instructs victims, "Anyone desiring to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Diocese should contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator: (716-895-3010), or visit the Diocese Of Buffalo website, www.buffalodiocese.org, and click on the EthicsPoint/Misconduct Tab which will direct you to Navex Global, an independent company, that will allow you to file a complaint or speak directly with a team specialist anonymously if so desired, 24 hours per day. Accusations of misconduct by a Bishop will be reported to the Metropolitan Archbishop of the New York Province in accord with the instructions of the Holy See."

WATCH: Bishop Richard Malone addresses new policy

The diocese says should the Independent Review Board, following a thorough investigation, find the alleged policy violation to be substantiated, "the perpetrator must be appropriately disciplined." That could range from counseling to dismissal, which the Vatican must approve.