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Spotlight Report

Albany bishop kept priests employed, supervised

By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent, 2/26/2002

The Roman Catholic bishop of Albany, N.Y., has allowed several priests who were guilty of sexual misconduct with minors to remain working, although not in positions where they were allowed to be with children unsupervised, the Times Union newspaper in Albany reported Sunday.

Nine priests have had substantiated sexual abuse allegations made against them, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard told the newspaper, during his 25 years as bishop. More than half of the priests were dismissed.

The church in Albany paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle abuse claims, a spokesman for the bishop told the Times Union. The diocese, with more than 400,000 Catholics, ranks 41st in size in the United States.

Because of the sex-abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, Hubbard said, he reviewed the personnel records of all of the nearly 300 priests in the diocese. He said he found no information that needed to be turned over to law enforcement officials.

"Based on everything I know, I believe that there is no one now in ministry who poses a threat in that regard," Hubbard said in a written statement to the newspaper. "If there were, he'd be out of ministry this afternoon. Our children are our richest treasure."

His spokesman said that Hubbard's decision to retain several of the priests was reviewed by a six-member panel and by independent psychologists, and was based on a belief that the priests would be helped by extensive counseling.

This story ran on page A24 of the Boston Globe on 2/26/2002.
Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.


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