The following is the statement Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo released to "60 Minutes" in advance of their upcoming story on the Diocese of Buffalo. The diocese also released it to the public.
I appreciate the invitation to interview with "60 Minutes." Regrettably, I must decline for two reasons.
First, the Church is in the eye of a storm largely as a result of wrong decisions made decades ago and even some made recently, as I have acknowledged. But, our efforts and our focus have always remained steadfast: protect the children and reconcile with the victims.
These activities occupy most of my days, but as St. Francis of Assisi instructed us: start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you're doing the impossible.
Second, while "60 Minutes" is free to interview whomever they wish for this story, it is clear to me and my staff that your roster of interviews did not include those who are aware of the full extent of the efforts of our Diocese to combat child abuse. Nor does it include those who urge me every day to stay the course and restore the confidence of our faithful.
Sometimes, it feels like the weight of this scandal will never pass, but by doing what is necessary and what is possible, one day we will restore confidence and earn the support of the faithful of our diocese.
Finally, although I have respectfully declined your invitation, I have sat for hours of interviews with highly regarded local journalists -- a newscaster and a reporter for our daily paper -- so that our message can be distributed locally.