Former Albany Bishop Faces Fifth Sex Abuse Lawsuit

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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 12, 2020   

Howard Hubbard hit by yet another scandal

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ALBANY, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Homosexual child rape is the latest accusation against a former bishop of Albany, New York, now facing at least five cases of sexually abusing minors.

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Fr. Cabell Marbury

Adding his voice to a growing list of sexual abuse allegations, Charles Carr is suing former bishop of Albany Howard Hubbard for raping him as a young altar boy in the 1970s.

"Hubbard sexually assaulted plaintiff, molesting him, including penetration," alleges the complaint.

According to the lawsuit, Hubbard abused Carr from 1974 to 1976 when he was a 9- to 11-year-old altar boy at St. James Church in Albany.

One instance involved a trip to West Point. Carr felt ill and returned to the bus, where Hubbard abused him. Repeated instances involved Hubbard having Carr serving the prelate brandy from a bar behind the altar, which often included inappropriate touching and ultimately culminated in rape.

Carr also accuses Fr. Cabell Marbury of molesting him on multiple occasions between 1974 and 1976. Father Marbury died unexpectedly in 2014.

"Due to this abuse of plaintiff by defendant Hubbard, plaintiff suffered chronic mental health issues including depression, post-traumatic stress, impulse control, antisocial disorder, emotional distress and anxiety, which have required and/or will require counseling and other treatment," the complaint states.

[T]he diocese of Albany remains focused on survivors, intent on making sure the truth comes out in every case that has been filed.

A spokesperson for the Albany diocese said the diocese cannot comment on particular cases in litigation, adding "the diocese of Albany remains focused on survivors, intent on making sure the truth comes out in every case that has been filed. As always, we urge anyone who has been abused to contact local law enforcement and our diocesan assistance coordinator."

Lawsuits, Mysterious Death

Signed into New York law in 2019, the Child Victims Act (CVA) opened up a wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The CVA extends the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors, allowing them to sue for one year. Initially scheduled to end Friday, the period for suing has been extended to Jan. 14, 2021.

Hubbard withdrew from ministry last August after he was named in a lawsuit accusing him of homosexually abusing a minor.


Mic'd Up Report: More 'Agony in Albany'
 

"When I retired as bishop of the diocese of Albany five years ago, I put my name on the list of retired priests who help out as needed in our parishes," Hubbard said in a statement at the time. "Earlier this week [August 2019], I was publicly accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a minor in the 1990s."

"With full and complete confidence, I can say this allegation is false," he continued. "I have never sexually abused anyone in my life."

"I will temporarily step aside from my public ministry. ... With humility, I have advised Bp. [Edward] Scharfenberger that I will take a voluntary leave of absence until this matter is resolved," concluded the statement.

In September 2019, as allegations first began to emerge against Hubbard, the diocese issued an announcement stating that "in accordance with Pope Francis’ recently updated reporting guidelines (known as Vos Estis), Bishop Scharfenberger has informed the papal nuncio as well as Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who serves as the metropolitan archbishop for the New York Province, of the legal claim against Bishop Hubbard."

The diocese under Hubbard has been called a 'predator's playground' that fostered a culture of silence and cover-up.

"Both Bishop Hubbard and Bishop Scharfenberger notified Cardinal Dolan of the lawsuit that was brought last week and have pledged full cooperation," archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling told the National Catholic Register. "Cardinal Dolan has been in contact with the nuncio, Archbishop Pierre, about the matter and is prepared to proceed, but first wishes to make certain that nothing be done that might hinder or jeopardize any civil legal proceedings that are currently underway."

Lawsuits have kept coming since his withdrawal from ministry. An attorney representing an unnamed client in the fourth lawsuit against Hubbard described the abuse as "horrific," adding: "It was something that has obviously stuck with him [the unnamed victim]."

The diocese under Hubbard has been called a "predator's playground" that fostered a culture of silence and cover-up.

In 1995, Fr. John Minkler of the diocese of Albany wrote a letter to Cdl. John O'Connor, then the archbishop of New York, explaining how Hubbard headed a homosexual subculture in the diocese. The letter names and profiles homosexual priests in Albany.

Minkler met with Hubbard in 2004. Two days later, Minkler was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Those who knew Minkler reject the official ruling of suicide, believing the whistleblower priest was murdered.

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