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Bishop Hubbard responds sex abuse lawsuit

FILE-Bishop Howard Hubbard at the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. FILE-Bishop Howard Hubbard at the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. | Photo: AP Photo/Mike Groll.

August 16, 2019 01:38 PM

Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has released a statement after he was among those named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed as part of the Child Victims Act.

In the lawsuit against Hubbard, the plaintiff – referred to only as P.R. – alleges the bishop "used his position as a priest to groom and to sexually abuse" him between 1994 and 1998. Hubbard's lawyer says he denies the claim.

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Hubbard is now 80 years old. He served as bishop of the Albany Diocese from 1977 until his retirement in 2014.

You can read the full statement below.


STATEMENT OF BISHOP EMERITUS HOWARD J HUBBARD

August 16, 2019

When I retired as Bishop of the Diocese of Albany five years ago, I put my name on the list of retired priests who help out as needed in our parishes. For the last five years, I have had the privilege of celebrating Mass and presiding at weddings, baptisms, confirmations, graduations and funerals at parishes in every corner of our Diocese. This opportunity for continued service to our people has been a spiritual joy for me.

Earlier this week, I was publicly accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a minor in the 1990s. With full and complete confidence, I can say this allegation is false. I have never sexually abused anyone in my life. I have trust in the canonical and civil legal processes and believe my name will be cleared in due course.

In the meantime, I will temporarily step aside from my public ministry. This is a profoundly painful step: I have been a priest for 55 years. My ministry is my life. But stepping aside temporarily now is the right thing to do. Our people and our broader community must be assured that our church leaders, active or retired, and indeed all clergy are living in accord with the highest standards that our sacred ministry requires.

With humility, I have advised Bishop Scharfenberger that I will take a voluntary leave of absence until this matter is resolved.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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