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Bishop Scharfenberger Issues Statement as Child Victims Act Goes Into Effect

August 14, 2019

A statement by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany:

All of us in the Diocese of Albany — and in the Church worldwide — will face challenges in the months ahead and may even become dispirited as revelations of sexual abuse come forward in light of the Child Victims Act. Although we cannot know the extent of what is before us, we do know that we will be a different Church when this process is over, but we will be a better Church because of it. The truth is the only way through this, and the truth will set us free. We admire the bravery of those who have come forward to share their stories of betrayal and pain to help other survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Experts tell us that the publicity that will surround the opening of the window for the Child Victims Act could trigger re-traumatization for those who have been sexually abused, and so our focus will be on accompanying survivors and supporting them as they journey toward healing, whether they choose the path of litigation or not. In the coming weeks and months, the Diocese of Albany plans to redouble our existing efforts to bring about reconciliation with survivors. We are a wounded family, and we cannot heal unless and until we care for and walk with those among us who have suffered in silence for so long. Today we take the next steps on this long and necessary path.