Western New York Catholics have a new, if only temporary, spiritual leader.
He outlined his role as someone who will support the diocese.
This comes after former bishop and now Bishop Emeritus Richard Malone submitted a three-page statement outlining what he calls his reasons to request an early retirement. He wrote despite the progress made, he felt the diocese would be better served under a new bishop. He also said the recent report from Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio had no bearing on his decision to step down.
As for Bishop Scharfenberger, he said his priorities are to listen to the people, and create trust and transparency as he has no hidden agenda.
He also said victims of clergy abuse come first and he will work with them as well.
Scharfenberger also says he’ll work with and support local clergy and parishioners across the diocese.
As for the couple of hundred lawsuits against the Church, he also touched on the possibility of filing for bankruptcy and creating financial transparency.
As for the rest of the administration, Bishop Scharfenberger says he no plans of making any changes.
He is expected to stay on until the pope selects a new bishop.