Bishop Scharfenberger to attend Saturday session in diocese

“I want to hear from abuse victims...as I begin my ministry in Buffalo"

WBEN Newsroom
December 06, 2019 - 5:03 am
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger/AP Photo

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Only days after being formally introduced to Buffalo Catholics, the man directed by Pope Francis to help lead the Diocese of Buffalo through the ongoing priest abuse crisis will be attending a Saturday session being held by the Movement to Restore Trust.

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo and bishop of Albany, is scheduled to attend the symposium at Canisius College’s Montante Cultural Center Saturday morning.  During his introductory press briefing Wednesday, Scharfenberger said he planned to be in Buffalo one day a week, and already he'll be in the diocese two days within his first week of being named to the administrative role by the Vatican.

Appointed to lead the Buffalo Diocese on Dec. 4 by Pope Francis, Bishop Scharfenberger will deliver opening remarks.  “This will be my first public event in the Diocese of Buffalo, and I want to use it as an opportunity to listen,” Bishop Scharfenberger said.  “I want to hear from abuse victims, the laity, priests, deacons and religious as I begin my ministry in Buffalo."

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The “MRT Path Forward Symposium” will provide an opportunity for a facilitated conversation on two key topics:  what desired qualities the laity would like to see in the next bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo and how parishes might discuss and develop a reform agenda at the parish level.

"We're going to be spending some time just sort of summarizing 'now what'", says Maureen Hurley from the MRT.  "We're going to be specifically talking about what are the new qualities, how do we discern, what are the right qualities and traits of the new bishop", Hurley told WBEN.

The forum is open to everyone. "We're inviting all priests, pastors, and laity of the Diocese to join with us to see what it is going to take to begin the healing, reconciliation and the reform process," said Hurley. 

MRT was formed one year ago in the wake of the clergy abuse crisis.  The first symposium, held in November 2018, inspired a respectful dialogue on what has been done and must be done to protect the vulnerable, hold Church leaders accountable, and begin to reform, renew, and heal the Church in the Diocese of Buffalo.

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