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As Buffalo Diocese moves past Malone, there's optimism confidence in church can be restored

Nick Lippa

Bishop Ed Scharfenberger, the interim administrator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, attended a Movement to Restore Trust symposium at Canisius College Saturday morning. Scharfenberger was appointed to the interim role after Bishop Richard Malone resigned following backlash over the diocese's handling of accusations of clergy sexual misconduct.

In his opening remarks, Scharfenberger acknowledged that there was anger and pain in the diocese. But he said that he hoped the church community could come together and heal through faith. He said victims of clergy sex abuse could provide vital insight to the church moving forward.

“They are our family. They are part of us," Scharfenberger said. "And while we don’t want to burden them with yet one more burden, they have a tremendous initiation shale I say, to feel a part of the healing mission. Not only by telling their story, but also sharing their insight. And the perspective that comes at times from pain."

Several topics were covered at the event this morning, including how bankruptcy of the Diocese would be handled, traits of a good Bishop and establishing more grassroots efforts to regain members of the church.

This was Scharfenberger's first public event since being appointed bishop this week.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.