New US Bishops: Albany and Rockville Centre

This morning the Holy See announced the decision of Pope Francis to accept the retirement of Bishop Howard James Hubbard and to name Bishop-elect Edward Bernard Scharfenberger the new Bishop of Albany, New York, USA.

Bishop Hubbard was the last active US ordinary that was named before Pope John Paul II became pope. (He was named by Pope Paul VI.)

In addition, Bishop-elect Andrzej Jerzy Zglejszewski was named Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, USA and titular bishop of Nicives.

Wow. Bishop Hubbard was appointed Bishop of Albany when he was 38 years old. He was never an Auxiliary Bishop.

Wow, indeed! I had no idea there was still an active bishop that had been appointed by Paul VI. He served as Bishop of Albany for almost half of his life! :eek:

he was a super liberal bishop

only Matthew Clark in Rochester (appointed a year later) might have been more so in recent history (not including Weakland and Mahony)

We should definitely pray for Bishop-elect Scharfenberger. It’s always going to be tough following someone who has been in the position for so long a period of time.

Does anyone know anything about the new Bishop Scharfenberger?

Yeah, he does have a reputation for being very liberal. On the other hand though, he has been seemingly very supportive of our Latin Mass community in his diocese and I think he deserves credit for that. I’ve always been very thankful for that. I’ll have to look into what Bishop Scharfenberger is like.

No. Deacon Greg Kandra knows him and speaks highly of him on his blog. He’s already 65 going on 66. I guess they don’t want back-to-back 37 year reigns. :stuck_out_tongue:

More trivia than real information but his nephew was Jon Scharfenberger, the pro life activist that was tragically killed a few years ago.

I thought the last name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t think of why. I do recall that story. Very sad.

Well, here’s a little bit of info. Bishop Scharfenberger has allowed the TLM at his Parish.

That’s pretty neat. I just hope that he starts taking “Catholic” Gov. Cuomo to task over his heretical views on abortion and gay “marriage.”

And that he ‘evens out’ some of the parishes. You can find the TLM in the diocese, you can find LifeTeen, you can find new (parishes built after the 1970s) and the old (from the 19th century), you can find very urban and very rural, and very faithful and very, um, well let’s just say ‘in need of attention’. The fact that he has a background in canon law is very encouraging, because it will enhance the best of the parishes to have someone with that type of skill set, it will bring forth improvement in the ‘stable leaning to stagnant’ parishes, and it will ‘bring back’ to fidelity some of the ‘needs attention’ parishes, God willing. :gopray::gopray2:

Yeah, those are all good points. It will be interesting to see how things change in the diocese, if they change at all. I hope things change for the better. I know the priests are all going to have a hard time remembering to say “Francis our Pope and Edward our Bishop” instead of “Howard our Bishop,” since they’ve been saying that for 38 years. Father already made that mistake at daily Mass this morning. A year ago they were forgetting to say “Francis” instead of “Benedict.”


Good observation. Traditionally, what happens is when a bishop is chosen at a younger age, that can be a sign that he is destined for bigger things. For example, Bishop Alexander Sample was the bishop of the Diocese of Marquette (MI), and last year Sample was elevated to the Archdiocese of Portland (OR).

There were quite a few bishops who were chosen in the 1970s who were fairly young at the time, who ended up staying put until they either resigned or reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. Many Catholics look at this as a sign that these bishops did not do that great of a job, and ended up staying put too long. Quite a few who stayed until 75 were replaced almost immediately, including Mahony, who had Gomez as a coadjutor.

Besides Mahony, Clark, Hubbard, and Weakland (should I add Sullivan from the Diocese of Richmond (Virginia?), here’s a few lesser known examples:

  1. Bishop Gossman - 30 years at the Diocese of Raleigh (NC)

  2. Bishop Pilla - nearly 25 years at the Diocese of Cleveland (OH) . I recall going to the 10:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral in Cleveland back in 2001 and it was only about 20% occupied. Pilla voluntarily submitted his papers to Rome within 6 months after Pope Benedict XVI became Pope.

  3. Bishop Delaney - l attended a parish pretty much regularly and helped with some ministries in the Fort Worth Diocese from 1995-2000. Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed with Bishop Delaney, who was there for 24 years. Bishop Vann was a big help there when he succeeded in 2005, and Bishop Olson will continue leading the Diocese of Fort Worth.

  4. Bishops Lucker and Balke from two Dioceses in Minnesota. Both were there a long time. Lucker was a proponent of the ordination of women, as was Pilla in Cleveland and Sullivan in Richmond.

Fortunately, the newer bishop of Raleigh (NC) is proactive, as is the newer bishop of Charlotte (NC). Bishop Lennon in Cleveland (OH) has been proactive cleaning up a lot of damage too, even though the secular media in Cleveland hasn’t been nice to him.


I agree with that too. I heard that bishop-elect Gainor from the Harrisburg (PA) Diocese was a bishop who, like Raymond Cardinal Burke, said during the 2004 election cycle (Gainor was bishop of Lexington, Kentucky until being selected for Harrisburg) that Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion should not receive the Eucharist.

I know some bishops have had “private meetings” with these politicians, (then- Cardinal Egan met with Guiliani, who is also currently in an irregular marriage with his 3rd wife, Naumann met with Sebelius, and I think Vigneron met with Granholm and a few others) , but the bishop’s requests seem to be ignored.

I know Naumann (Archdiocese of Kansas City) has met more than once with Sebelius, and there was a former bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento (California - I think it was Weigand, who I believe is now deceased) with then-Governor Gray Davis, who was pro-abortion.

I’ve heard that Bishop Matano in Rochester is already stirring the pot, even after less than two months. I hope Scharfenberger is able to do the same, like removing some “liberal sisters” as Parish Administrators and Directors of Religious Education.

Yay for Bishop Matano! I was over in Vermont the last 2 years before I moved and lived there before for many years, and he was a terrific bishop. Personally quiet-spoken, gentle, and humble, but a LION for the faith. Was blessed to attend several Masses where he presided. Rochester is very, very lucky!

How are things going in the Albany diocese? There’s a chance my husband will be transferred there. Can anyone tell me about parishes in the suburbs, like Guilderland? I sing in the choir and cantor so good music is a must (no gather stuff).

The new bishop (new last year) just lost his father a short time ago. He is a very solid man, but he has a really, really tough diocese to reach, and he has to pick his work very carefully. Liturgy is not a top priority right now, and while it might be for those of us who are living in really BAD situations, we do have to consider that the bishop is responsible for so much, pray for him, and trust him (and I do.)

As for the parishes, if you’re in an area where there are suburbs, you might get a halfway decent parish. If you’re out in the boonies, you are stuck. Too many parishes still are living la vida 70s and the music is still utterly horrendous. Don’t get me wrong, for the last 30 or 40 years and due to no fault of their own, a lot of parishes ‘lost’ their old choirs. organists, etc., and the guitar players who came forth to assist did so from noble motives and in many cases, they have done a wonderful job working with ‘stone knives and bearskins’. A guitar, and guitarist, can make truly sacred music, no question. But --again really not due to fault–because guitars are so prevalent today, far more than a piano, in ‘secular’ music, people who play them for church usually also play them for ‘secular’ events and in a secular style, and that ‘carries over’ to church, and the "Gather’ type ditties which are also written in that never-to-be-sufficiently-regretted lounge lizard style of the 70s and 80s lend themselves to being ‘performed’ instead of ‘offered’, so you add in people who have probably been playing at the same parish for 20 some years, the same music, the same style that was ‘fresh’ when they were young, and who get applauded by people who have grown used to that style and think it’s perfect. . .and you get the kind of parish that is VERY typical of the Albany diocese. I was here in the 80s and 90s, moved away, returned a year ago and it’s as though I never left. And that’s NOT a good thing.

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