Bishop Scharfenberger talks with local media inside the Albany-Rensselaer train station about his new appointment  in the Buffalo Diocese
Bishop Scharfenberger talks with local media inside the Albany-Rensselaer train station about his new appointment in the Buffalo Diocese
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger talked about trust on his return trip from Buffalo on Thursday; trust that has been broken and trust that needs to be rebuilt.

“We all want to see trust happen,” said Bishop Scharfenberger, discussing his new position as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo at the Albany-Rensselaer train station, “but we all know it takes a long time to break trust and it takes a lot of time to build trust, and actions speak louder than words.”

Bishop Scharfenberger was appointed by Pope Francis Wednesday after Bishop Richard J. Malone resigned. Bishop Malone was facing intense pushback from Catholics in Western New York over his handling of abuse allegations against Buffalo priests, with many calling for his resignation.

Until a new bishop is named by Pope Francis, Bishop Scharfenberger will run the eight-countywide Buffalo Diocese, adding with great optimism, that his “family just got a lot bigger.”

“We have neighbors down the block that you care about,” said Bishop Scharfenberger. “Or if there was an illness with extended family, you know, families help families out.” 

Bishop Scharfenberger wasn’t sure of how long it would be until a new Bishop of Buffalo will be named, speculating anywhere from a month until spring of the coming year. In the meantime, the Bishop will be making weekly trips to the Buffalo Diocese. 

He also encouraged any Catholics in Buffalo to continue to speak up without fear of coming forward: “I'm very concerned that if a person comes forward or is thinking of coming forward, that they would in no way be discouraged. Sometimes it takes great courage to come forward if you were a victim of any abuse.”

“To me, trust is a gift,” added the Bishop. “It’s not something you can buy or earn. You know if someone has been unfaithful to his or her spouse, you can say well how many flowers can I give you until you forgive me? It’s almost an insult to try and buy that back. No, show me. Show me that trust.”