Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard of Albany Requests to be Removed from Clergy Status; SNAP Responds

(For Immediate Release) 

'Recently, I asked the Vatican for relief from my obligations as a priest and permission to return to the lay state. In whatever time I have left on this Earth, I hope to be able to serve God and the people of our community as a lay person. I also will continue to vigorously defend myself against the allegations against me. Resolution of these civil cases takes a very long time. I hope and pray I will live long enough to see my name cleared once and for all.' (Statement of Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard)

We at SNAP see it quite differently. Clearly, Hubbard thinks very highly of himself. It takes gall and probably the diagnosis of a personality disorder for him to ask to be defrocked, and on the other hand, claims his innocence. He is a dangerous man who holds many, many secrets. For 37 years, he exercised complete, unaccountable, and unmonitored power over a diocese. A sort of religious dictator, as all bishops are. 

We see this ‘request to be removed from the status of clergy’ gambit as just another way to hide secrets and deceive the public. He was a visible prelate in the Catholic Church in the United States and around the world. Whether he is defrocked or not, he should be monitored in the same way that defrocked ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is. It's not lost on us that McCarrick denies any wrongdoing, even though he's been accused by several credible victims.

There are numerous reports of "retired" priests abusing children. Hernan Toro of San Jose destroyed the lives of two young girls when he was 85 years old, roughly the same age as Bishop Hubbard. When Hubbard says he is "fully retired from ministry," no one should be complacent. He is facing seven allegations, and those are almost certainly only a small segment of the children he abused. Based on the claims that have already been made public, he has a voracious sexual appetite that he has hidden behind the masks of being "progressive" and a "street priest." The "Boy Bishop" is a child abuser.

It is astonishing to us the depth of selfishness cowards run to when their back is in the corner. We don’t believe for one second that Hubbard prays for longevity. We also cannot help but think of the countless number of victims who’d like relief or to retire and have closure from their lifetime of pain and suffering. Sadly, those who have endured the most harm will never be able to resign from that weight. In our opinion, cowards run from the truth, survivors own it. We thank the men who have come forward to expose this powerful, secretive, and dangerous man. Bishop Hubbard is still alive, and those revelations, by the courageous, have made Albany's Catholic community feel a little more secure.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected] 267-261-0578) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386 [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is


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