The longtime former head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany says the diocese coated up sexual abuse by monks for many years and guarded clergy by sending them to non-public remedy as an alternative of calling police.
Bishop Howard Hubbard, who ran the diocese in New York’s Capital District from 1977 to 2014 and has himself been accused of sexual abuse, made the admission in a press release issued via his lawyer to the Albany Instances-Union in response to questions from the newspaper.
The Instances Union reported Hubbard’s assertion on Saturday.
“When an allegation of sexual misconduct in opposition to a priest was obtained within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, the widespread apply within the Albany diocese and elsewhere was to take away the priest from ministry quickly and ship him for counseling and remedy,” Hubbard stated.
“Solely when a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist decided the priest was able to returning to ministry with out reoffending did we think about putting the priest again in ministry,” he added. “The skilled recommendation we obtained was well-intended however flawed, and I deeply remorse that we adopted it.”
About 300 lawsuits have been filed in opposition to the Albany diocese underneath a state regulation that permits folks till Aug. 14 to sue over sexual abuse they are saying they endured as kids, typically many years in the past.
Up to now, the 82-year-old Hubbard has denied allegations that he sexually abused minors. In an August 2019 assertion, he stated: “I’ve by no means sexually abused anybody in my life. I’ve belief within the canonical and civil authorized processes and imagine my title might be cleared in the end.”
Responding to allegations in lawsuits that he ignored, disregarded or coated up abuse by others, Hubbard instructed the Instances Union in his assertion that he was a pacesetter on church efforts to forestall abuse, together with assist for background checks and compensation for victims.
Hubbard’s assertion was not sanctioned by the diocese, the newspaper reported.