Albany Catholic Diocese hid claims of priest abuse, ex-bishop testified

Spectrum News [Syracuse NY]

March 25, 2022

The Albany Catholic Diocese concealed reports of child sex abuse for decades and failed to report the abuse to police, Albany Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard testified last year, according to transcripts of a deposition released Friday.

The more than 600-page transcript details instances in which the former bishop covered up allegations of priests sexually abusing minors during his 37-year tenure, which ended in 2014.

Hubbard provided four days of sworn testimony in April 2021. The deposition was released Friday as a result of a recent decision by the Albany County Supreme Court.

“Bishop Hubbard’s testimony reveals decades of decadence, denial and deception at the peril of so many innocent, trusting children, in his own words,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the survivor who sought the release of the deposition.

Three hundred cases were filed against the Albany Diocese alleging sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. Ten of those accuse the bishop of sexual abuse.

The allegations against Hubbard date back to the 1970s, with the most recent coming in 2012.

Hubbard has maintained his innocence.

His attorneys had filed a motion to keep the deposition sealed.

The Child Victims Act extended the statute of limitations, allowing people who were abused as minors to file civil suits against people they say abused them.

Members of the clergy are not mandatory reporters of sexual abuse. There is currently a bill in the state legislature which would change that.

Kevin Keenan, the diocese’s interim communications director, released a statement late Friday afternoon.

“As we stated earlier, while we cannot offer detailed information on historic events that occurred long ago, we can with absolute conviction say that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany takes all allegations of abuse seriously and remains committed to uncovering the truth without fear or favor,” Keenan stated. “The Diocese has and continues to resolve pending claims of victims/survivors in mediations with the assistance of the court.” x