BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since the changing of the guard within Buffalo's Catholic diocese, the Catholic faithful have expressed a renewed sense of cautious optimism in the effort to restore trust within the Church.
Now, the Movement to Restore Trust, Buffalo's lay group, has clear messaging to send to the Vatican on behalf of the laity: the next Bishop of the Buffalo diocese must be transparent, honest and humble.
Those characteristics are the top three qualities desired in the next bishop, as identified by 120 Catholics who attended the MRT's "Path Forward" symposium at Canisius College days after former Bishop Richard Malone resigned.
The top seven qualities were:
6. Servant Leader
7. Willing to make tough choices
"It is clear the laity is now fully engaged in the appointment of our next bishop," said MRT Organizing Committee Member John Hurley.
The MRT will be forwarding the list of desired qualities to Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Pope Francis’ official representative to the United States.
It is unclear exactly when the Vatican will appoint a new permanent bishop. Meantime, Catholics are hoping apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Ed Sharfenberger will take swift action to release the personnel files on abusive priests.