A powerful gesture, from Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger:
In a letter issued on Aug. 31, 2018, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger called on all priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany to join him in making a public restatement of the promises of their priesthood during the diocesan Hearts Aflame Eucharistic Congress to be held Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville.
“As a public witness, to God’s people and the world, of our wholehearted and undivided commitment in the priesthood to which we were called and ordained, I request and require your presence at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville to concelebrate Mass with me at 10:30 Saturday morning in the Coliseum,” Bishop Scharfenberger wrote. “…At Mass we will renew the promises we made at our ordination along with a public restatement of commitment to all that we have been ordained to preach, teach and live by.”The letter, which addresses many of the challenges facing lay Catholics and priests alike in the wake of recent sexual abuse revelations that have shaken the Church, acknowledges the pain felt by Catholics who are “angry and dismayed at revelations of ongoing duplicity and unchastity among priests and bishops.”
“They want swift justice for the victims of sexual abuse by clergy and accountability for those who perpetrated and enabled it for so long,” Bishop Scharfenberger wrote. “Most of our people, however, are also remarkably compassionate and forgiving. While they understand the need for justice and transparency, they also love Jesus and his Church and will not abandon us, if they can only have the assurance we will shepherd them, hear their voice and share their journey of faith.” (Read the full letter: www.rcda.org/recommitment.)