Skip to comments.Brooklyn’s Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger named bishop of Albany (+ inside scoop)
Posted on 02/11/2014 10:19:40 AM PST by NYer
And there’s news this morning for Rockville Centre, too…
This just in:
Ed Scharfenberger is a good man and a great priest. He’s currently serving as vicar for Queensand just last Sunday he visited our parish. I had the privilege of serving Mass and preaching for him. Little did we know we had a future bishop in our midst! (He’s also a regular and enthusiastic reader of these pages and therefore qualifies as a Friend of The Bench, or FOB ). I can also attest to the fact that he’s a gifted and inspiring homilist. Albany, you are blessed.
An added bonus: dude’s got a great singing voice. I joked with him after Mass, “You know, if this priest thing doesn’t work out, you could have a whole other career…”
I think “this priest thing” is working out just fine.
Oh: and he’s on Facebook, too.
Congratulations! Ad multos annos!
The Albany Times Union has more:
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger succeeds Bishop Howard J. Hubbard who has led the Diocese of Albany for 37 years. Hubbard reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in October.
In a statement released by the Albany diocese, Schrafenberger said: “How grateful I am to His Holiness Pope Francis for the awesome privilege to serve as pastor of all the wonderful people in the Diocese of Albany. I am touched by the warm welcome of Bishop Hubbard who has served the Church in Albany with love and dedication for 37 years.
“My heart is full of gratitude to God for my loving family, especially my ninety-three years old parents who were generous enough to welcome me, my two brothers and two sisters into this world. They taught us how to pray, to trust God and to know Jesus as our friend. Their continuous example shows us that the essence of love is sacrifice.”
Scharfenberger was born in Brooklyn’s Bushwick section on May 29, 1948. He is the son of Edward and Elaine Scharfenberger of Warwick. His parents are 93 years old.
“It is humbling when I think that I soon will be counted among the successors of the Lord’s Apostles. I am not worthy of this office and I hope that our priests, deacons, religious and lay people will pray for me often as, together, we continue along our journey of faith,” Schrafenberger said.
“What else do I ask for? What do I hope for? I ask the priests, deacons, religious and laity to help me to be myself my best self. I promise to love and respect all of you by letting you be who you are and to bring out the best in you. Let’s do this for one another. I will spend every talent that God has given to me, and every ounce of energy, for the Church in Albany.
“I commend myself and my ministry to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of our Diocese.”
I will make this one final update to this post on this busy day for the Roman Catholic Church in Albany! I viewed a livestream of the press conference with Bishop Hubbard and Bishop-Elect Scharfenberger at 11am. Bishop Hubbard was his typically gracious and funny self, speaking about how glad he was to know that Bishop-Elect Scharfenberger would be our new shepherd. He offered him some gifts, including a purple zuchetto that belonged to Bishop Edwin Broderick, and also a Mets cap, and a map of our physically large diocese.
Bishop-Elect Scharfenberger started with a prayer, and then offered his own equally funny, gracious and informative words in return. It was moving to hear his speak about his 93 year old parents, and his great gratitude for them. He then took some questions. As I am at work, I missed some of them, but I did hear someone ask what would happen between now and April 10, which will be the date of his episcopal ordination at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception here in Albany. In a very wise reply, he said that the diocese was in good hands, and that he had a lot to do in Brooklyn, so that he would probably make himself scarce until April 10th. He seems easy going, funny, and warm; clearly he has a pastoral side.
So let us pray for both men, and for those who will miss Bishop-Elect Scharfenberger, for the Bishop-Elect as he transitions, for our diocese and for Bishop Hubbard as he starts retired life!
Bishop Hubbard received a letter from the Vatican yesterday, confirming his resignation and requesting that he remain in place until a successor could be named. The same priest who made that statement, was shocked by the announcement this morning. There was a scramble to issue statements, both short, from Hubbard and Scharfenberger. The following is from the Official Press Release, issued by the Diocese of Albany, earlier today.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger attended Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Elementary School in Ridgewood and graduated from Cathedral Preparatory Seminary High School, Elmhurst in 1965. He entered Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston and graduated as an English major in June of 1968. The following fall he was assigned to study theology at the North American College in Rome, Italy where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology (S.T.B. summa cum laude) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1972.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was ordained a priest on July 2, 1973 in St. Peters Basilica, Rome, by Bishop James A. Hickey, later Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington DC. He served as Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) at St. Stanislaus Church (Maspeth) and St. Ephrem Church (Dyker Heights) until 1976. He then was assigned to return to Rome for further studies. In 1977 he earned his S.T.L., summa cum laude, in Moral Theology from the Academy of St. Alphonsus. He was then assigned to the Catholic University of America where, in 1980, he earned his J.C.L. summa cum laude in Canon Law. He then served in a number of capacities in the Diocesan Tribunal of Brooklyn for 20 years. Between 1986 and 1990 he attended Fordham University School of Law where he earned his J.D. in May of 1990. He is admitted to the bar in New York (1991). Between 1993 and 2002 he served as the Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Brooklyn. A Judicial Vicar usually oversees the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal and serves as chief canonical advisor to the bishop. During his years at the Diocesan Tribunal he also exercised pastoral ministry at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills and at St. Matthew Church in Dix Hills. He has been the Administrator of the Diocesan Board of Mediation and Arbitration for the past 15 years as well as chaplain of the Kings County Catholic Lawyers Guild. He has served as instructor in Moral Theology at the diocesan Pastoral Institute and as an Adjunct Professor at St. Josephs College.
In 2002 Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was appointed Pastor of St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, a large multi-ethnic parish, where he served for 12 years. During this time he also served as Promoter of Justice for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and was a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors. His most recent assignments included Vicar for Strategic Planning, and Episcopal Vicar for Queens.
You draw your own conclusions.
Congratulations. The speed of this appointment is astonishing. We have been told that (since you New Yorkers stole our bishop!) we should not expect a replacement until 2015.
I hope that Bishop-elect Scharfenberger is up to the task ahead of him. He, and all of you in the diocese, will be in our prayers.
The new bishop, who graduated summa cum laude from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1972, went to Fordham Law School, passing the state bar in 1991. He is multilingual and has been in the forefront of the church's dealings with sex abuse scandals.
And ... there it is! This is the legacy of Hubbard, a ton of lawsuits.
The legacy of Bishop Hubbard is a good and holy priest found dead on his kitchen floor of very mysterious circumstances. It is several priests who quit to live with their boyfriends including one transvestite priest who left to become a woman.
It is a Diocese with rapidly declining church attendance. It is closed parishes and closed Catholic schools. It is a network homosexual priests and the forcing out of good holy men from the diocese.
It is lawsuits and financial disaster.
Fr. John Minkler is in my daily prayers. Let’s pray that Bishop-elect Scharfenberger will bring healing to this diocese, renewal of vocations and welcome back those catholics who have strayed.
I have several relatives and friends who knew Fr. Minkler. They said he was a good man and were concerned by his death.
The knew Bishop seems like a good man. Hopefully he can bring renewal to the faithful.
Thank you NYer!! This is the first news I had heard of this appointment. Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - who told Bernadette Soubouris(sp?) that she(the Lady in the Grotto) is to be known as the Immaculate Conception.
I am so pleased - my daughter who is to be confirmed in April will be confirmed by the New Bishop!! I had prayed for this.
It’s interesting to note how many canon lawyers are being promoted to the position of bishop. Maybe this had been a pattern in the past too because Vicar Generals tend to be canon lawyers? I just don’t know whether canon lawyers typically have the pastoral experience needed for the job.
In this particular situation, the answer is a resounding "yes". Lest anyone forget ...
Prayers answered!! Please take a few moments to carefully read through all of the information I posted above. It is packed with clues as to how Scharfenberger was chosen, the issues he will have to address and the road that stretches before him. I just caught a quick clip on the local news in which he avers that one of his primary tasks will be to bring back the sheep that have strayed. That speaks volumes. After all that I have read about his education and experience, I can now rest in peace, knowing he is the right man to turn this diocese around.
The sister of one of my co-workers was married to Fr. Minkler's brother. Their family NEVER accepted the coroner's report. Within a few days following his death, Paul Likoudis, (the Wanderer Press) and several other prominently active catholics, held a conference in downtown Albany which I attended. At the meeting, they provided details on the events leading up to that fateful day. You can read them, here. You may want to share the article with your relatives and friends. BTW, the report compiled by Fr. Minkler for Cardinal O'Connor was posted to the internet but removed the following day. I downloaded a copy of it before it was stricken from the public record. It provides names and dates.
Insofar as the new bishop, please go back up to the top of this thread and carefully read through his credentials. Also, check your freepmail.
Yesterday and today in that post......the Pope wasted no time at all. God bless him.
But it will turn around. Pray for Bishop-elect Scharfenberger!
what’s he going to do with all the pink ladies.
I didn’t realize there had been that many problems in the diocese, although I had read about the murder of the priest.
Msgr. Scharfenberger seems even more like an excellent choice. I wonder how long he has been in the works. The current nuncio seems to be quite good, and the last one, Pietro Sambi(who died suddenly) was also very good and gave us some good appointments, although he had less to work with. In the last few years, probably because of more orthodox heads of the USCCB, who make the recommendations to the nuncios, I think more good senior priests have moved into the range for consideration for bishop.
This is very positive. Keep us posted on the events!
Ha!! I see my post 16 was deleted—Anne Roche Muggeridge is too racy for the religion forum. ‘m glad that you got a reply in before it went.
I did click on that link earlier as well, after I had read the other piece, but decided instead to follow something more uplifting and less indicative of the direction in which our society is sliding—a video of a cop in Boise shooting a black lab.
You mention the report compiled by Father Minkler. Would you be willing to provide it to me? Thanks.
I have an electronic copy of the report. I also know that the article from the CatholicCitizen (posted above) is slightly inaccurate. Father Minkler was summoned home early from his retreat by Rev. Kenneth Doyle, chancellor for the Albany Diocese.
I also know that in the report Father Minkler prepared, he named Rev. Gary Mercure as a predator priest who went after young boys. Hubbard/Albany Diocese subsequently paid Mary Jo White’s law firm $750/hour to investigate all allegations against Hubbard, including those found in the report prepared by Father Minkler, and concluded that there was nothing factual to back up the claims in the report. Ten years later, Mercure is rotting in jail, where he belongs, and several of the other priests mentioned in the report got off on technicalities (mostly related to a slight lack of proof or some circumstantial evidence issues), and the Catholics of Albany were further scandalized by a farcical “investigation” that cost them a lot of money.
I tried to send a private reply but it say’s I am too new! Maybe if you initiate it I could respond? I wanted to follow up with some additional comments/information. Thanks.
Late to this thread, but has anyone read Bishop-Elect Edward Scharfenberger’s pro-life writings on the internet? They are outstanding. He has also prayed in front of abortion clinics.
You are not too late .. your comments are timely. The Albany diocesan newspaper, published an article on Scharfenberger's pro-life activity. His appointment to this diocese is truly a blessing. He will need much prayer as he steps into the viper's den. The cathedral is only a few blocks away from the governor's mansion. No doubt Cuomo has been invited to the bishop's elevation and installation on April 10. It should be interesting to see how future interaction between Scharfenberger and Cuomo, the most anti-life politician, plays out. Stay tuned!
I sent my email list this exciting news about our soon-to-be new bishop.