New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced Nov. 23 that her office is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo over allegations that church officials covered up charges of sexual misconduct by priests.

The legal action asserts that former Bishop Richard Malone, former Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz and other church leaders allowed priests who had been accused of sexual offenses against children to leave the ministry or retire rather than face disciplinary actions, reported the Associated Press (AP).

“For years, the Diocese of Buffalo and its leadership failed to protect children from sexual abuse,” James said in a media statement. “Instead, they chose to protect the very priests who were credibly accused of these atrocious acts.”

The lawsuit comes after a two-year investigation by the attorney general’s office. James said her office is continuing to investigate some other dioceses in the state.

The AP reported that the Buffalo diocese filed for bank­ruptcy last year. In the filing, church officials cited hundreds of lawsuits filed against it.

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