Twice in the last decade, 14 prosecutors have pressured Albany’s Catholic bishop to act more responsibly in child sex abuse cases. It’s disturbing that even now, a veteran church official who has repeatedly pledged to “reform” must be prodded to do what’s right for children’s safety. This should be very alarming to Albany area citizens and Catholics.
It’s inexcusable that Hubbard apparently insists on having his lawyers investigate child sex abuse reports BEFORE alerting police. It’s also inexcusable that Hubbard’s staff grills those who report child sex crimes, insist that they turn over their own medical records, and sign waivers. There’s only one explanation for this: Hubbard’s concern is not for the safety of kids. It’s for the protection of Hubbard and his colleagues.
It’s important to realize that Hubbard
--kept the agreement secret,
-- delayed signing it,
--approved it only after reporters started asking questions about it, and
--deceptively pretended it was a “cooperative effort” when it wasn’t.
We commend these prosecutors for exposing these intimidating and self-serving practices by Albany Catholic officials. And we call on Hubbard to explain and apologize for his deceptive and manipulative actions.
Finally, we hope this revelation will prod every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Albany area to find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing. When victims stay silent, nothing changes. But when victims find the courage to take action, there's at least a chance for prevention, healing and justice – especially when they seek independent sources of support and avoid contacting Catholic officials.