Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo, has said he was not given the results of a Vatican-ordered investigation into the scandal-hit diocese.
“I was not given that,” Bishop Edward Scharfenberger told local news station WKBW in an interview on Monday, regarding the Vatican’s report of the investigation. “I don’t know what it contains,” he said.
Scharfenberger also told WKBW that he was not given a clear mandate by the Vatican when he was appointed as apostolic administrator of the Buffalo diocese in December after the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone.
“I was not sent with a particular mission,” Scharfenberger said of his temporary appointment to Buffalo, emphasizing that Malone resigned and was not “forced out.”
“I was not given any documentation or any marching orders that ‘you’re here to clean things up,’ or anything. I was just told to be the administrator of the diocese.”
After more than a year of successive scandals concerning sexual abuse and cover-up in the diocese, in October the Vatican appointed Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn to conduct an Apostolic Visitation of Buffalo, resulting in a report submitted to the Vatican in November.
Although he said he had not seen the conclusions of that report, Scharfenberger did address the climate of suspicion and cynicism which had set in across large parts of the diocese.
“Criminality is not entitled to secrecy,” he said on Monday. “So anything that our files that would contain that would hint at criminal behavior, if that’s the case, I want to be transparent and expose.”
“Christ says ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life,’ that we have nothing to fear from that truth,” he said.
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