The former Albanian bishop has admitted to covering up allegations of abuse

The former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has admitted to covering up allegations of sexual abuse against children by priests.

ALBANY, NY – A former bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese in Albany has admitted that allegations of sexual abuse against children by priests have been concealed in order to avoid scandal and protect the diocese’s reputation.

Howard J. Hubbard admitted while giving a statement taken last year as part of a response to dozens of lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act. The judge ordered the release of the statement on Friday.

Hundreds of people have sued the Albany Diocese for sexual abuse they say they endured as children, sometimes decades ago.

During the four-day testimony, Hubbard mentioned the names of several priests accused of sexual harassment who were referred for treatment and later returned to the ministry without notice to the public. One, David Bentley, confessed to Hubbard that he was involved in the alleged behavior.

Hubbard testified that he did not report the allegations to law enforcement because he did not consider it necessary to do so by law, and instead kept the allegations against Bentley and others secret, “out of concern for scandal and honor. Priesthood.” Diocese eventually removes Bentley from the ministry.

The transcript will be “read with terror by the public,” Cynthia Lavev, an attorney representing some of the plaintiffs, said in an email statement Friday. “The diocese will be blamed for perpetuating a culture of sexual harassment by public priests that has been allowed to continue for decades.”

Hubbard ran a diocese in New York’s Capital District from 1977 to 2014 and accused himself of sexual assault, which he denied. He further testified that the Diocese kept secret files in a locked room containing allegations of sexual harassment that only he and other top officials of the church could access.

In an emailed statement, a Diocesan spokesman did not directly address Hubbard’s testimony, but said the Diocese’s priority is “protection and assistance to victims / survivors and the discovery of the truth” and that it “resolves and continues to pursue appealing claims. Victim / Survivor People. “

In arguing for the release of the transcript of the statement, some of the accused’s attorneys argued that the risk of pre-trial prejudice was no longer valid after Hubbard published an opinion in the Albany Times-Union last year where he defended himself. Conducting allegations of abuse of the Diocese.

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