BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On this Ash Wednesday, Bishop Richard Malone lit a candle for victims of sex abuse at the hands of a Catholic Priest.
In a statement, the Bishop's office says, "This March the Diocese of Buffalo begins a special Year of Prayer for the healing of victims of clergy sexual abuse."
It goes on to say, "Lent is a time of prayer, mercy, forgiveness and renewal."
Parishioners all over Western New York received ashes at mass Wednesday.
It's been a difficult year for parishioners in the Catholic Church amid sweeping sex abuse scandals and cover-ups. Some tell 7 Eyewitness News this Lenten season is as important as ever.
"Some of the beliefs that we have are a little shaken but on the other hand if you're a believer you believe in the message not so much the messenger," said Bob McDonnell, a parishioner at St. Bernadette in Orchard Park.