Howard James Hubbard

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The Most Reverend
Howard J. Hubbard
DD
Bishop Emeritus of Albany
HowardHubbard.jpeg
Hubbard at his retirement party in 2014.
Province New York
Diocese Albany
Appointed February 1, 1977
Installed March 27, 1977
Term ended April 10, 2014
Predecessor Edwin B. Broderick
Successor Edward Bernard Scharfenberger
Orders
Ordination December 18, 1963
by Martin John O'Connor
Consecration March 27, 1977
by Terence Cooke
Personal details
Born (1938-10-31) October 31, 1938 (age 75)
Troy, New York
Nationality  U.S.A.
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Howard Hubbard
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Howard James Hubbard, DD (born October 31, 1938) is an United States prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the ninth Bishop of Albany, as well as the longest-serving incumbent.

Early life and ministry[edit]

Howard Hubbard was born in Troy, New York, to Howard and Elizabeth Hubbard. He attended La Salle Institute, and entered Mater Christi Seminary in 1956. He furthered his studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers and the Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. While in Rome, Hubbard was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Martin O'Connor on December 18, 1963.[1]

Upon his return to the United States, he served as associate pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Schenectady and at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. He then did his graduate studies in social services at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Episcopal career[edit]

On February 2, 1977, Hubbard was appointed Bishop of Albany by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 27 from Cardinal Terence Cooke, with Bishops Edwin B. Broderick and Edward Joseph Maginn serving as co-consecrators. He was the youngest bishop in the country at the time.

Appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Vatican's Secretariat for Non-Christians (now the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue), he is a supporter of the ecumenical movement, serving as Roman Catholic Co-chair of the Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultation. Under his leadership, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has had a very active Catholic-Jewish dialogue, and has been at the forefront of efforts to achieve a good working relationship between the Roman Catholic Diocese and the Jewish community. He has been a leader in pro-life efforts, suing to prevent an abortion clinic from opening in Albany and serving as president of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty.

At the time of his retirement, Hubbard's tenure as bishop was the longest in the Diocese's history, at 37 years. The previous record was 35 years belonging to Edmund Gibbons.[2] Liturgical design consultant Richard S. Vosko served as his liturgical adviser during his tenure.[3]

Controversies[edit]

There were longstanding rumors and protests over alleged sexual misconduct and homosexual relationships between Bishop Hubbard and minors during the latter part of his tenure.[4] Although none of these allegations materialized nor resulted in his removal from office, his approval rating and public opinion suffered greatly because of them.

In 2004, independent investigators paid for by the Albany Diocese cleared Hubbard of allegations of sexual misconduct, stating that "The facts did not substantiate any of the charges against Bishop Hubbard"[5] [6]

Despite the independent investigation's claims that the alleged "Minkler Letter" contained no credible information several priests mentioned in the controversial letter have subsequently been put on leave. In particular, Gary Mercure was imprisoned after a Massachusetts court found him guilty of sexual misconduct in the rape of two former altar boys. [7]

Abuse affairs[edit]

In March 19, 2011, Hubbard placed three retired priests on administrative leave and removed another from the ministry after receiving allegations of child sexual abuse.[8]

Communion controversy[edit]

In February 2011, Canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters argued that New York's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Holy Communion for his cohabitation with a girlfriend.[9] In March, Hubbard gave an interview in which he explained that he would not deny Holy Communion to Cuomo.[10]

Retirement[edit]

Hubbard submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis when he reached the age of 75 as required. The Vatican announced on February 11, 2014, that Pope Francis had accepted Hubbard's resignation and appointed as his successor Rev. Msgr. Edward Bernard Scharfenberger, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Episcopal Vicar for the area of Queens.[11]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Terence Cooke
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Harry Joseph Flynn June 24, 1986

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bishop Howard James Hubbard". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  2. ^ "Bishop to mark 25 years leading Diocese". The Evangelist. 2002-03-14. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  3. ^ The Wanderer: "The Bishop's Denials...Reflections on a Press Conference and Agony in Albany" By Paul Likoudis February 27, 2004
  4. ^ Capital News 9: Protests held as Bishop Hubbard is honored. March 28, 2004.
  5. ^ New York Times: "Report Clears Albany Bishop In Sexual Misconduct Inquiry" June 25, 2004
  6. ^ http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories5/031404_albany.htm
  7. ^ http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Abusive-priest-s-files-detail-pattern-of-rape-4893196.php
  8. ^ "Retired priest removed, 3 on leave". Times Union. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  9. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/nyregion/23vatican.html
  10. ^ "Cuomo’s Right to Holy Communion Is a Private Matter, Bishop Says". New York Times. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  11. ^ "Pope names bishop for Albany diocese; Rockville Centre to get auxiliary". National Catholic Reporter. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Edwin Broderick
Bishop of Albany
1977–2014
Succeeded by
Edward Bernard Scharfenberger