Documents obtained by CNN suggest that Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo concealed the identities of priests who were accused of sexual assault and let them continue working in the church. Malone released the names of 42 priests who had left the diocese amid accusations of abuse earlier this year, but documents show that the number of accused priests could be up to 200. In a binder that was reportedly kept “in a closet next to a vacuum cleaner,” lawyers outlined accusations against dozens of priests in a 300-page briefing book—along with “pending matters” and “anticipation of litigation.” Other names emerged from documents coming from the diocese’s “Secret Archives” on practicing priests and case files that were to be shredded, known as “the Well.” Diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler told CNN that more names were not released because “the list of 42 priests were priests against whom we had substantiated allegations” and who were accused of abusing minors, not adults. Three of Malone’s top staffers have recently quit their posts, and thousands have signed an online petition calling on Malone to resign.
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