Credit: Joel Page | BDN

BUFFALO, New York — A former leader of the Catholic Church in Maine says he won’t resign as a bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, over his handling of sex abuse allegations.

Bishop Richard Malone said Sunday the “shepherd does not desert the flock” during difficult times. Malone was accused earlier this month of protecting priests in Buffalo suspected of sex abuse.

[Pope says no effort to be spared in tackling Catholic Church’s abuses] 

Malone served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland from 2004 to 2012.

The Portland Press Herald reports he was accused in 2010 of hiding the identities of seven priests suspected of sex abuse.

Paul Kendrick, who co-founded Voice of the Faithful in Maine, says Malone is acting the same way in Buffalo as he did in Maine.

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.