Local Attorney Reaches out to Pope

Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
February 24, 2004

The attorney who represents numerous victims of clergy sex abuse is calling on the Pope to step in regarding the on-going controversy surrounding Bishop Howard Hubbard.

Attorney John Aretakis has written a formal letter to Pope John Paul II. Aretakis is asking the Vatican to acknowledge a letter, he said was written back in 1995, which questions some of the practices of Bishop Hubbard.

The late father John Minkler's name had been linked to the letter.

Minkler's body was found last week in his Watervliet home.

Aretakis said Minkler sent the letter to Cardinal John O'Connor, who then forwarded it to the Vatican.

Officials from the Roman Catholic Diocese said Father Minkler requested a meeting with them shortly before his death to deny authorship of the letter in question.

Aretakis is not asking the Pope to concede the allegations in the letter. He is, however, asking the pontiff to acknowledge its existence.

Ken Goldfarb, director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, said, "Bishop Hubbard and the diocese will, as always, be guided by the decisions of the Holy See. That Mr. Aretakis sent his letter to the local news media and the Vatican at the same time, tells you everything you need to know about his real agenda."


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