Father Robert Zilliox of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Swormville told 2 On Your Side he is circulating a “No Confidence” petition to be delivered to the Diocese of Buffalo and Bishop Richard Malone.
Zilliox informed his parishioners about the petition on Sunday.
It is unclear at this time how many diocesan priests have signed the petition. However, any priest who signs it will be committing an act of disobedience. Diocesan priests are required to take an obedience oath to the bishop, and signing the petition would go against that.
Zilliox told 2 On Your Side’s Steve Brown, “I did share with parishioners that a letter is circulating and that I have challenged my brother priests to ‘step up.’ Now is the time to show true leadership and what it means to be a true shepherd!”
Read the full “no confidence” letter drafted by Rev. Zilliox below.
Dear Bishop Malone and Bishop Grosz:
It is with a heavy heart that we write to demand your resignations as Bishops of Buffalo immediately. We all sought in good faith to work with you for the good of our diocese. However, the events of the past several months in particular, specifically your most recent public statements, as well as the request made by the Movement to Restore Trust, make it clear to all of us that your office as our bishop and chief shepherd has been so compromised, that it is, in fact, no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church at Buffalo to heal and grow in holiness.
As priests and deacons, we are deeply saddened and seriously concerned about the future of the Roman Catholic Diocese at Buffalo. We have heard from the people their prophetic and clarion call for a change in leadership. The revelations that have come to light over the past days, weeks and months have significantly challenged the credibility of your public statements. We, the People of God that constitute our diocese, are angry, hurt, and in need of authentic, humble, sincere and holy spiritual leadership. We believe that despite your good work in the past you are no longer able to provide that leadership.
While this is obviously a difficult request, we believe in our hearts that this is a necessary step that must be taken if healing is to come to the Diocese at Buffalo. Most priests, deacons and the laity of the Diocese at Buffalo have lost trust and confidence in your ability to lead us forward. Therefore, we reiterate our demand that you resign effective immediately.
The Clergy of the Roman Catholic Diocese at Buffalo
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