The following is a statement from Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger in follow-up to his conversation with the former employees of St. Clare’s Hospital held at Siena today:
I am grateful to all those who expressed interest in today’s meeting — especially local media and political leaders who have been at the forefront of this issue for some time. Thank you for being respectful of our wishes to keep this conversation with former St. Clare’s employees as informal and personal as possible. Today’s gathering was never meant to be an information session; rather it was intended as a way for me to be a pastor to my people. Sometimes it’s a fine line a bishop has to walk between being the leader of the “business” side of the Church and being the spiritual father that is at the heart of my vocation and work. Today was about the latter.
What we were attempting to do today was somewhat counter-cultural. Rather than making proclamations or seeking the spotlight, we wanted to do just the opposite, to provide a safe, quiet and private place for a conversation that was at times very difficult. We expect that there will be future events related to this matter, and we look forward to collaborating with local legislators and giving access to media at that time.
Right now my main concern is for the well-being of these former employees of St. Clare’s. I want to walk with them on the challenging journey they face. Today was the first step.