Catholics React to Allegations

Fox 23 [Albany NY]
Downloaded February 9, 2004

Catholics attending Sunday Mass this morning are coming to grips with the allegations now swirling around their church and bishop.

Martha Arenas said, "It's very hard for me as a Christian to understand."

Parishioners like Martha Arenas of Albany trying to understand why someone would make such bold allegations against Bishop Howard Hubbard -- a bishop she has grown to love and respect.

Arenas said, "It upsets me in that it happened and people are taking it and extending it, but I one-hundred percent believe in Bishop Howard."

Priests at Saint Catherine of Siena Church and churches all around the diocese reading this letter from Bishop Hubbard -- the first of it's kind speaking directly to his fellow Catholics.

Anne Marie Peterson said, "It's a word from him directly and I believe every word he said."

The bishop accused of having a sexual relationship with Tom Zalay who later killed himself in the 1970's as well as a 40-year-old man from Schenectady who worked as a street prostitute in his early teens when he was a runaway. Bishop Hubbard publicly denied both those allegations last week and says he never even knew the men.

Many here at Saint Catherine's Church say the allegations against Bishop Hubbard have left a stain on the church as a whole.

Father Ken Doyle said, "I think that it's harmful to the church and certainly to the Bishop's reputation."

That reputation now under question... As supporters of the bishop stand behind him -- saying they will get through this very trying time.

Arenas said, "We love our bishop, he's a great bishop -- he's a good role model and we totally support him."


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