Former Albany Bishop Hubbard’s deposition reveals decades of cover-up and negligence, SNAP Responds

(For Immediate Release March 25, 2022)

Former Albany Bishop Hubbard’s deposition reveals decades of cover-up and negligence, SNAP Responds

Last Friday, a former Albany bishop’s secrets were revealed after a previous deposition was unsealed, and now parishioners and the public know concretely that their former bishop was actively involved in covering up abuse. We hope this news will encourage law enforcement to look into this situation and prosecute any crimes that were committed.

According to news outlet WNYT in Albany, between 1977 and 2002, former Bishop Howard Hubbard said he received reports about 11 priests who were accused of sexually assaulting children. Some of those priests were sent for treatment and then allowed to return to the ministry without the public's knowledge. When asked why he did not contact the police, Hubbard answered, "Because I am not a mandated reporter." He says he wanted to avoid scandal and out of respect for the priesthood. Hubbard has also faced allegations of sexually abusing children but denies it ever happened. He retired in 2014.

Bishop Hubbard was the Bishop of the Diocese of Albany, New York for nearly 40 years. We can only wonder if there were other cases that were hidden during this time. Given the clear nature of public interest and safety, we applaud the decision of the court to release the deposition transcripts, it has given the power back where it belongs, in the hands of victims of child sexual abuse. To us, it sends a message to institutions such as the Catholic church and the hierarchy that they will be exposed when they decide to protect their reputation rather than protect the vulnerable. 

We are outraged that Bishop Hubbard minimized the terrible consequences that resulted from the reassignment of clergy accused of sexual misconduct by stating that he was ‘not a mandated reporter’ and wanted to ‘respect the priesthood and avoid scandal.’ To us, this sounds like more of the same from Catholic officials’ ‘playbook’, admitting to one thing while ignoring a thousand others.

On the other hand, we are extremely happy to see the results of the Child Victims Act play out. We firmly believe that allowing victims who have been time-barred from justice, their day in court, forces discovery and information from depositions such as this. The Diocese of Albany faces nearly 300 cases under the CVA in New York.  Act, Many of whom alleged that they were sexually abused as minors by Bishop Hubbard himself.

We also hope that information such as this encourages other victims to come forward and report to the police and to New York Attorney General Letitia James. Anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered criminal behavior by any Catholic clergyman, brother, nun, staffer, or volunteer should speak up and tell law enforcement immediately.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected])  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])


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