March 29, 2022

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

All of us have been praying fervently for the family of our Church and our parishes to heal, and this is a crucial step. We have a profound responsibility to survivors of abuse in the Church - and to their families and friends who suffer with them. We must not hesitate to recognize that their pain is multiplied by this news, even as we acknowledge the real and historical failures coming to light.

Sadly, our parishes reflect statistics: a half or more of our parish friends have suffered some trauma or violence. These victims and those who love them are also shuddering in sympathy with the ordeal of victims in the Church, as the deposition describes. Fortunately, there are resources to help, like the Cabrini Center at City Mission in Schenectady for victims of domestic violence, and our own Pastoral Consultation Center. We will repost a list of hotlines and helplines on the website. We will keep gathering information about the current and active child protection programs.

Yes, this will hurt as we move forward. We all hurt to see the impact on our Church and on our people, on survivors and families, on the relationships we may have with Bishop Hubbard. We will need time to pray and grieve. Don't take this on alone. Take time to rest and pray. Remember how often Jesus himself did this and invited his Apostles to join him. All Catholics are upset. But it is much better that we can express our anger or grief than that we walk away. This is how families heal.

Yours in Christ,

Edward B. Scharfenberger

Bishop of Albany