ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two women are embarking on a hunger strike, foregoing food until they get a meeting with Bishop Edward Scharfenberger to settle their decades-old claims of sexual abuse by clergy.
One says she was a little girl when a priest in an Albany suburb molested her. The other calls herself vulnerable when she was abused and she says she’s traumatized by it to this day.
The victims are showing their faces, but are not releasing their names.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany saying they won’t comment on the matter because the individual’s communications, demands, and threats to the Diocese have been designated as confidential.
They released this statement:
“The Diocese knows this individual well and is in possession of voluminous correspondence spanning several years. She reached out to us in the past regarding unsubstantiated allegations of abuse, and the Diocese provided her with support at that time, as we do for all individuals who bring forward allegations of sexual abuse. If this individual has additional information beyond what she previously provided to the Diocese, we would be happy to arrange a meeting with the Victim Assistance Coordinator as a first step.”
The women say that protocol includes mediation with victims.
“When people promise you things and you’re waiting day after day you can’t live your life because you’re focused too much on it. I want an apology I want them to find a way to improve their processes.”
“They’ve hurt me to the point where I’ve never had one hour or one day of normalcy in the state of New York.”
The women say despite their experience, their faith is strong but shaken.
The women say they’ve been preparing for this hunger strike, eating less for ten days, and they’re willing to stay on strike for as long as it takes.
A lawsuit has not been filed.
The diocese issued this statement on Monday, December 5:
“The Diocese of Albany has provided assistance to this individual in the past, and we stand ready to provide additional assistance as needed. We hope and pray that she and her colleague will provide us with the information needed to provide that support.”