Is He the Real Deal?

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  January 15, 2020   

Bp. Scharfenberger: Reformer or Company Man?

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Catholics in the diocese of Buffalo are still reeling from Bp. Richard Malone's atrocious handling of clerical sex abuse cases. But the men charged with investigating the diocese and overseeing things after Malone stepped down are showing themselves to be cut from the same cloth.

In October, Brooklyn Bp. Nicholas DiMarzio concluded his fact-finding mission, conducted at the behest of the Vatican. As of now, no report has been issued and Buffalo's clerical sex abuse survivors are waiting for answers.

It's not known, however, if answers will ever come; The Vatican's announcement called the investigation "a non-judicial and non-administrative process that requires confidentiality." 

DiMarzio was chosen in 1996 to be an auxiliary bishop under then-Abp. McCarrick in Newark, New Jersey. (A separate report on McCarrick's homopredation is also expected soon.)

On Nov. 11, the Associated Press made public a sex abuse accusation against DiMarzio, alleging he sexually abused an altar boy in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the 1970s.

The alleged victim, 56-year-old Mark Matzek, is being represented by prominent Boston-based sex abuse lawyer Mitchell Garabedian and is seeking $20 million in damages.

Matzek claims DiMarzio and another priest, now-deceased Albert Mark, repeatedly abused him when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Nicholas Church nearly 40 years ago.

We can't be afraid of reality. We have to look at things with sober eyes and look at the damage that was done

In December, when Malone stepped down, it was announced the Albany Bp. Edward Scharfenberger would take over as a temporary administrator. On Saturday at Canisius College, Bp. Scharfenberger met with the press and 175 people, including clerical sex abuse victims. 

At the event, dubbed the Movement to Restore Trust Community Symposium, Bp. Scharfenberger called victims "family" and added, "While we don't want to burden them with yet one more burden, they have a tremendous invitation, shall I say, to feel a part of the healing mission."

"We can't be afraid of reality. We have to look at things with sober eyes and look at the damage that was done," he added.

But due to his connections and friendliness to previous Albany Bp. Howard Hubbard, allegedly a homosexual ringleader of the diocese, Scharfenberger may just be another company man.

Watch the Church Militant panel discuss more on Bp. Edward Scharfenberger in The Download—Is He the Real Deal?

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