Pope picks Brooklyn priest to lead diocese
Posted in the Weird Forum
#1 Feb 11, 2014
ALBANY, NY — Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger, a lawyer who played a significant role in how the Brooklyn diocese handled child sex abuse complaints, is Pope Francis' choice to lead the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.
"Let's just get to know each other, walk together," Scharfenberger, 65, said at a news conference attended by his predecessor Bishop Howard Hubbard, priests and nuns. "Jesus stands in the midst of us. He is the common denominator.... There is a lot of hurt in the world.
"There is a lot of healing to go on and the best way to do that is to listen," he said. "Challenge me to be a good listener.
"God is going to speak through you."
Scharfenberger was introduced at an 11 a.m. news conference at the diocese's Pastoral Center in Albany. He will be installed as bishop April 10.
The gathering had its lighter moments that showed a new bishop quick to smile and laugh and who is an engaging conversationalist.
Hubbard got the first laugh of the morning when he approached the podium.
"Good morning. I'm Howard Hubbard and I used to be Bishop of Albany," he said.
Brooklyn is one of the few dioceses in the United States that is totally urban; Albany covers 14 far-flung counties.
You are going to have a bit of an adjustment to make here in Albany," Hubbard said.
To help his replacement along, Hubbard gave his successor a map of the diocese and a pink skull cap given Hubbard by his own predecessor, Bishop Edwin Broderick. Hubbard then rummaged around in his bag for effect and pulled out a Mets cap. Scharfenberger is a big fan.
The bishop-elect got a few laughs himself when he related being told a week ago of his new assignment.
"I got a call that in a few minutes I was going to get a call from a priest," he said. "I asked 'What did I do?'"
The call was a total surprise to Scharfenberger.
"Did I think I would be here in Albany?" Scharfenberger said. "No, maybe in the Lake George."
Scharfenberger praised Hubbard and spoke about the influence of his own parents.
"They taught me how to love Jesus," he said. "They told me never to forget Jesus is the center of our lives."
Scharfenberger said he wants to bring back people who have left the church. "I want to be a healer. I want to be a listener. I want to be a reconciler, but I can't do it alone," he said.
He said he is concerned that some people are alienated by the church.
Scharfenberger also spoke of the diocese's decision in recent years to close parishes with dwindling congregations.
"A church never really closes because a church is people, not buildings," he said. "If we had more people coming into the churches, we wouldn't have to close any churches."
He will be the 10th bishop of the Albany diocese. Hubbard, who served for 37 years, is retiring at the mandatory age of 75.
Scharfenberger, who graduated summa cum laude in 1972 from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, went to Fordham Law School, passing the state bar in 1991. He speaks French, Italian, German and Spanish and has been in the forefront of the church's dealings with sex-abuse scandals.
He served as Promoter of Justice for the Diocese of Brooklyn and was a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors and coauthor of the 2009 report, "From Shadow to Light and from Scandal to Healing: The Experience of the Diocese of Brooklyn with the Sex Abuse Scandal."
The board that crafted the report was established in 2002 after the clergy sexual abuse scandal in Boston. It has examined more than two dozen cases in Brooklyn and Queens.
"We have to go forward with this important work," Scharfenberger said. "There have been some bumps in the road and the church has taken too long of a time to remove some offenders. I believe in transparency but we have to be patient to protect a person's confidentiality and to protect children. People should not be afraid to speak out and they should know they will be protected. There is nothing as unloving as abuse."
#2 Feb 11, 2014
The usual disturbing and total lack of awareness of the continuing abuse of power via misogyny and sexually sick demands of the rcc.
Not that anyone really believes anyone still in the rcc did near enough to deal with the long lived abuse of power in a sexual context.
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