Pope Francis picks Queens priest to lead Albany diocese

Albany Times-Union:

Pope Francis picks Queens priest to lead Albany diocese

Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger, a 65-year-old Brooklyn-born, Vatican-educated priest and pastor of a parish in Queens, will become the 10th bishop of Albany on April 10. His selection by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Howard Hubbard was announced Tuesday.

Scharfenberger, who also has been a lawyer for more than two decades, played a significant role in how the Diocese of Brooklyn handled the clergy sex scandal as a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors.

“I want to be a healer. I want to be a listener. I want to be a reconciler, but I can’t do it alone,” Scharfenberger said when he was introduced at a morning news conference at the Pastoral Center of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.

“Let’s just get to know each other…walk together,” Scharfenberger said, adding that he wants to bring back those who have been alienated by the church.

And in a reference to the closing of parishes with dwindling congregations, he said: “If we had more people coming into the churches, we wouldn’t have to close any churches.”

He leads St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, a multi-ethnic church with a large German congregation, which offers services and hears confessions in German. In addition to German, Scharfenberger speaks Spanish, Italian and French. His recent assignments also included vicar for strategic planning and episcopal vicar for Queens.

The next bishop showed that he is an engaging conversationalist, quick to smile and laugh, as when he told of his surprise a week ago on learning of his new assignment.

I’ll limit myself to saying +Scharfenberger certainly has his work cut out for him.

Indeed. I don’t care who the bishop is, when they have been there for 37 years, the trenches are going to run deep (for good and for ill). Here’s praying for openness to movements of the Holy Spirit for all.

Your charity and tact are a good example for me. Thank you!

For anyone who wants to see the installation:

Bishop-designate Edward B. Scharfenberger, D.D. will be ordained and installed as the Tenth Bishop of Albany on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. There are several ways you can enjoy the up-coming ordination and in-stallation. Time Warner Cable News (Channel 9 for most Time Warner Cable sub-scribers) will be producing and carrying the ceremony, with live coverage beginning at approximately 1:30 PM on April 10. Father Kenneth Doyle, Chancellor for Public Infor-mation, will be providing commentary dur-ing the broadcast. For those who subscribe to some other cable television service, you may view the ceremony on EWTN which also plans to carry the live broadcast.
In addition, the ceremony may be viewed on the Internet. There will be a link to the live streaming of the event on the diocesan web site, www.rcda.org.

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