“We want to accompany survivors of child sexual abuse on the path toward healing and to offer whatever resources we can to assist them along the way,” said Bishop Scharfenberger.
“We want to accompany survivors of child sexual abuse on the path toward healing and to offer whatever resources we can to assist them along the way,” said Bishop Scharfenberger.

The diocesan Hope and Healing Committee is hosting an Evening of Reflection on Oct. 19 at the Joshua House, 1071 Joshua Lane, in Altamont.
The theme of the night, which starts at 6 p.m., is “Growth from Trauma” and is open to anyone who has been abused (sexually or otherwise) and those who love and support them.

Frederick Jones, the diocesan victims assistance coordinator, will talk about his role and what his office offers and members of the Hope and Healing Committee will discuss their mission to aid and support mental, emotional and spiritual healing. Along with Jones, members of the committee include: Father Robert Longobucco, vicar general and moderator of the Curia; Deacon Gary Riggi; Mary Fay, associate director for Marriage and Family Life, Office of Lay Ministry Formation; and Ann Marie Carswell, process coordinator for the Diocesan Review Board and Assistance Office. After the program, there will be time to speak one-on-one to committee members and survivors.

For those not able to attend in person, the event will be livestreamed on the diocesan website (rcda.org).

Since he was ordained as Bishop of Albany in February of 2014, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has been a national leader in responding to the clergy abuse crisis. He published a list of offenders in the Diocese in 2015, was among the first bishops in the country to call for an independent lay-led investigation of the scandal involving former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, revamped the independent Diocesan Review Board, and established a predominantly lay task force on sexual abuse in 2019 to make recommendations to the Diocese on its response to survivors and its internal policies.

In April 2021 in recognition of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month, Bishop Scharfenberger celebrated a Mass of Hope and Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse at the Church of St. Mary in Clinton Heights.

“We want to accompany survivors of child sexual abuse on the path toward healing and to offer whatever resources we can to assist them along the way,” said Bishop Scharfenberger at the time. “We know this journey can be painful and challenging, and we want to remind survivors that they do not have to face it alone.”  

In this year alone, Bishop Scharfenberger has sought the advice of the Diocesan Review Board on three retired clergy each of whom had an allegation of child sexual abuse filed against him through the Child Victims Act (CVA). In addition to those cases, two other priests have withdrawn from public ministry, one has been removed from public ministry and another placed on administrative leave after allegations of abuse.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany takes all allegations of child sexual abuse seriously. The Diocese urges anyone who as a child was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or deacon to report the matter to a law enforcement agency or to the Diocese. To report an incident of abuse or to seek help, contact Jones at (518) 453-6646 or by email at assistance.coordinator@rcda.org.