Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger takes part in the “Stand Up for Justice, Speak Out Against Racism” event in front of the Catholic Center in Buffalo on Tuesday.  (Dan
Cappellazzo/Diocese of Buffalo)
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger takes part in the “Stand Up for Justice, Speak Out Against Racism” event in front of the Catholic Center in Buffalo on Tuesday. (Dan Cappellazzo/Diocese of Buffalo)
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Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said during a rally in Buffalo on Tuesday that fighting against racism is “all about changing hearts.” 

“We are not perfect. We have all done things that we are embarrassed about or ashamed about,” said Bishop Scharfenberger during the “Stand Up for Justice, Speak Out Against Racism” event in front of the Catholic Center. “We can’t change the past but we can change, right now, our lives."

The Bishop then pointed to a sign one of the protesters held up that read, 'Change me first Lord, then let me be part of the change.' … This is all about changing hearts.”

The event was co-sponsored by Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services and the Office of Pro-Life Ministry and advocated for racial justice and an end to persistent attitudes and practices that reflect racial bias of any kind. 

Bishop Scharfenberger, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo, was joined by Deacon Steve Schumer, diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Western New York, Cheryl Calire, director of Pro-Life Ministry and Deacon Don Weigel, diocesan director of Catholic Relief Services.  John Wilde provided reflective songs.  

“As we come together, we pray for ourselves, we pray for our nation but most of all we pray that we ourselves may continually be willing to grow from the inside out,” the Bishop said near the end of his speech, “That we may allow our hearts to be changed. That we may be good listeners. One of the best ways of ministering is just to listen; listen to the pain, listen to the stories and then to reach out our hand together and work together as brothers and sisters.”