PORTLAND, Maine — Bishop Richard Malone will continue to lead the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland even after he is officially installed as bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., next month.

The Maine diocese announced Tuesday that Malone's appointment as apostolic administrator in Portland by Pope Benedict XVI will allow him to continue to lead the church's fight against the legalization of gay marriage in Maine.

A statewide referendum on same-sex marriage is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Malone will continue to lead Catholics in Maine and western New York until the pope names a new bishop for the Diocese of Portland.

The pope appointed Malone in May to lead the Buffalo Diocese, which has three times as many Catholics as the Portland Diocese.