Letter: Transparency needed to heal Catholic Church

Times Union [Albany NY]

September 11, 2022

As a lifelong active Catholic in Albany, I was dismayed to read the article “Church shields files of Bishop,” Sept. 4, of the continuing efforts of the Albany Diocese to block the release of personnel records for clergy suspected in the sexual abuse crisis.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is currently contending that the records of Albany Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard should be shielded from disclosure. This is after losing a court case that ordered the release of priest personnel records for those charged in the lawsuits filed after the passage of the Child Victims Act.

While the revelations from the sexual abuse scandals are painful, I believe the church must be fully transparent to get beyond this crisis. This would be similar to the truth and reconciliation process that occurred in South Africa after the fall of apartheid.

Through this openness, the church can begin the process of enabling victims to heal from the harm inflicted and to move the church forward to a future where we can faithfully serve those in need unhindered by the shadows cast by those abuses.

I urge Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, who has taken steps to listen to the stories of clergy sexual victims, to direct his attorneys to quickly make available all pertinent clergy personnel records for priests and Hubbard.

David Rowell