BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 2020 brings a new beginning for the Buffalo Diocese. It will be a year of healing led by interim Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.
"The New Year for the Church of Buffalo is going to be a year of reconciliation and healing as we continue to work through the troubles of the past," said Father Don Watkins from St. Joseph Cathedral.
"It seems like [the new Bishop] is actually trying to make a difference... It's our church's soul that's hurting and that needs healing," said Jennie Marinaro, a lifelong parishioner.
Father Watkins was ordained six months ago. He said he's prepared to work with Bishop Scharfenberger as he leads the church forward.
"We've been given a great challenge is how it feels," Watkins said.
Both Bishop Scharfenberger and Father Watkins said they believe transparency will help mend the relationship between clergy and laity.
"So we hope that at some point in time that we can properly restore trust tto all those who had that sense of trust violated by really criminals. They were criminals," said Watkins.
No one knows how long it will take, but Father Watkins said restoring that trust will begin this year. 2020 is when the process starts.
"It is going to take time. I don't think it's going to magically be fixed this year, but I think that with the New Year and the new changes there will be a renewed sense of hope," Marinaro said.