A bishop in the New York City of Albany Diocese covered up child sexual abuse for 25 years. He explains that he wanted to protect the reputation of the diocese by avoiding scandal.
The case follows a global free speech movement in the Church in the United States. Howard Hubbard, the former bishop of the city of Albany, admitted covering up sexual assaults from 1977 to 2002, reports ABC News.
“A culture of sexual abuse”
The bishop confessed last year in a deposition after several complaints. On Friday, March 25, a judge ordered the release of the deposition. During his deposition, the dignitary gave the names of several priests accused of abusing children. Some priests were referred to a treatment device and returned to their post afterwards, without the public ever being informed, report our colleagues.
In his defense, Howard Hubbard, explained that he was not required to report the allegations to justice. He claims to have acted out of concern to preserve the diocese from a “scandal” and out of “respect for the priesthood”. “The public will see the guilt of the diocese in perpetuating a culture of sexual abuse by priests that has been allowed to continue for decades,” said a lawyer representing some of the plaintiffs.
A locked room
Howard Hubbard was head of the diocese from 1977 to 2014. He is also himself accused of sexual abuse, allegations he continues to deny. He recounts how the files were hidden, in a locked room, to which only he and other senior church officials could have access.
Following these revelations, the diocese of Albany wanted to react. He believes in a press release relayed by France Infothat he would “seriously consider all allegations of abuse and remained committed to unbiased truth-telling.”