A former bishop of New York State has admitted in court to having ignored a number of sexual assaults on children committed by 11 priests between 1977 and 2002, denounced Monday an association for the assistance of victims.
Former Bishop of the City of Albany
In April 2021, Howard Hubbard, ex-bishop of the city of Albany testified under oath for four days before the Supreme Court of the State of New York and acknowledged that for 25 years, from 1977 to 2002, he was informed of sexual abuse committed on minors by his co-religionists.
Without ever reporting them to the police or sending them back.
The 680-page deposition was made public on Friday by order of a judge and has since been commented on by local American media.
In response, the victims' defense association "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" (Snap), based in Chicago, welcomed the fact that "from now on, parishioners and public opinion know concretely that their former bishop was actively implicated to cover up abuses”.
Fleeing the “scandal”
In a statement released on Monday, Snap said it "hopes this information encourages law enforcement to look into the matter and prosecute all crimes committed."
Questioned by the justice on the reasons for which he had remained silent, Howard Hubbard replied that he was "not required to report" facts of sexual abuse of children, according to his remarks quoted by the local chain of NBC, WNYT Channel 13.
According to this television, the former bishop of Albany, who left his post in 2014, did not want a new "scandal" of pedophilia which splashes the American Catholic priests, even if, in an August letter last, he acknowledged that the Church had not taken the measure of the impact of these alleged crimes on the victims.
Response from the diocese
In response, the Diocese of Albany assured in a press release “to be able to say with absolute conviction” that it considered “seriously all allegations of abuse and remained committed to bringing out the truth in an impartial manner”.
For years, the American Catholic Church has been rocked by revelations and accusations of sexual abuse committed by priests.
In December 2019, the Pope announced the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, Bishop of Buffalo (State of New York), implicated for his management of a vast pedophilia scandal.
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