Abuse survivor calls out Diocese leader for alleged cover up

James Faluszczak wants answers from Edward Scharfenberger

Mike Baggerman
December 10, 2019 - 1:54 pm

James Faluszczak and Paul Barr outside the Diocese of Buffalo. August 14, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Clergy sex abuse survivor James Faluszczak is urging more transparency from diocesan officials and specifically called out Buffalo's Apostolic Administrator, Edward Scharfenberger, to release information that he knows about abuse in Western New York.

Faluszczak, a Western New York resident who has long railed against the Diocese of Buffalo for its handling of clergy sex abuse, called on Scharfenberger to unveil information about the internal investigation conducted by Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio into Buffalo. DiMarzio concluded his report last month.

"Bishop Richard Malone recently resigned and was forced out of the Diocese of Buffalo," Faluszczak said Tuesday in Brooklyn. "Bishop Scharfenberger, this protege of Bishop DiMarzio, is presiding over the same cover-up."

Faluszczak also wondered if Buffalo's apostolic administrator knew about the allegations of abuse and misconduct by Scharfenberger's predecessor in Albany, Bishop Howard Hubbard.

"Will he finally give to the good people of the Diocese of Buffalo a full public account of the number, the nature, and the location of clergy sexual abuse in Buffalo?" Falusczak asked.

Scharfenberger became the temporary leader of the Diocese of Buffalo on December 4 following the resignation of Richard Malone as bishop. Falusczak said that he's personally found the Albany bishop to be approachable but criticized him for following the same "playbook" of canon law.

A spokesperson for Bishop Scharfenberger released the following statement:

As he pointed out in last week’s press conference, Bishop Scharfenberger does not have the authority to release the report. It is the property of the Holy See and only the Holy See can release the report.

Bishop Scharfenberger has spent just two days in the Diocese of Buffalo — and most of that time was spent talking with media, engaging with members of the clergy and meeting staff.  Bishop Scharfenberger also attended the Movement to Restore Trust symposium last weekend. The Bishop will be engaging intensively during the coming months with key individuals and groups across the Diocese, in addition to visiting parishes.  At the appropriate time, the Bishop will provide further information about his recommendations and decisions. It is Bishop Scharfenberger’s intention to engage regularly with the media and ensure as much clarity as possible about the issues facing the Diocese of Buffalo and its future direction.

The spokesperson also referred us to the following link about Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard and said the Diocese of Albany is not overseeing this investigation and that Bishop Hubbard is on administrative leave.

 

 

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