Bishop Scharfenberger called to step down after claims of secret lawsuit information

Erie County

(WIVB) — Less than a year after he became apostolic administrator to the Buffalo Diocese, there are calls for Bishop Edward Scharfenberger to step down.

“The Road to Recovery,” a non-profit that assists sex abuse victims, says Bishop Scharfenberger has only followed in Bishop Malone’s footsteps.

The organization claims he has continued to keep information secret and that he has withheld information about a priest who was accused- but kept him in ministry.

“How can we trust an administrator who doesn’t inform one of his priests that he was named in a lawsuit in July 2020?” said Dr. Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, Inc.

The Buffalo Diocese said in a statement that Fr. Donald Lutz of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Buffalo has been identified in a civil lawsuit filed under the Child Victims Act.

It says the complaint was forwarded to the Erie County DA.

The Diocese says Bishop Scharfenberger has reiterated his support for victims and survivors of clergy abuse.

Scharfenberger was appointed apostolic administrator of Buffalo by the Pope in December 2019. The previous apostolic administrator, Bishop Richard Malone resigned after a Vatican investigation into the handling of sex abuse in the diocese.

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