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A man with close ties to Orange County has been called on by Pope Francis to lead an upstate Archdiocese. Tuesday, Reverend Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger was introduced as the next Bishop of the Albany Archdiocese. Scharfenberger's parents live in Warwick. Our Meredith Zaritheny talked to them on the heels of the big announcement.
WARWICK, N.Y. -- For Ed and Elaine Scharfenberger, the news that Pope Francis has named their son, Reverend Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger, the next Bishop of the Roman Catholic Albany Diocese, came as a shock and a welcomed surprise.
"Well I was absolutely stunned, we're caught off guard, I almost said to him don't make a joke Edward but I didn't know you," said Ed Scharfenberger, Scharfenberger's father.
"I believe it is a great blessing," said Elaine Scharfenberger, Scharfenberger's mother.
Married almost 70 years, the couple couldn't be happier for their son, who dreamt of becoming a priest from an early age.
"I'm thankful to my parents, my brothers and sister, my family they taught me how to pray, say my first prayers," said Rev. Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop-elect.
The 65-year-old Bishop-elect succeeds Bishop Howard Hubbard, who, after 37 years leading the diocese is retiring. Now, Scharfenberger will become the tenth Bishop to lead the Roman Catholic Albany Diocese.
"It took me totally by surprise but I'm delighted to be here," said Scharfenberger.
Reverend Monsignor Scharfenberger served as the "Promoter of Justice" for the Diocese of Brooklyn, where he played a significant role in how the diocese dealt with sex abuse scandals.
"My goal right now is to listen and learn I want to respond to the real needs of the people of this diocese."
Scharfenberger will be ordained bishop on April 10 and two proud and very excited parents will be looking on.
"It will be quite a shock for us to see our son walk down the aisle as a Bishop," said Scharfenberger.