Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger issued this statement on the crisis facing employees of the former St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady, who are facing the loss of their pensions.

“To the pensioners of St. Clare’s Corporation, all those men and women who served many years — in some cases several decades — to provide quality health care in a Catholic setting, I want you to know I am deeply affected by the stories of struggle I am hearing from you related to the loss of or decrease in your much-needed pensions. I understand that, for many of you, this situation has left you in dire straits in what should be your retirement years.

“To that end, I am recommending that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany offer to facilitate and mediate discussions between pensioners and the trustees of St. Clare’s Corporation in an effort to promptly provide a forum for open discussion. While there may be no easy answers, you should be afforded the opportunity to ask the questions that need to be asked and to be given the information and respect you deserve. We will provide the details and format.

“As dedicated employees of the former hospital, you are members of our Church family, and we are hurting with you. Although we are advised the Diocese of Albany does not bear legal or financial responsibility for the actions of St. Clare’s Corporation — and does not have the resources to rescue the corporation — we are committed to doing whatever we can to help you move forward.”