Boston, Mass., Nov 21, 2022 / 16:10 pm
Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany has asked the Vatican to laicize him, claiming that Church policy prohibits him from publicly exercising his priestly functions while he is under investigation for sexual abuse allegations.
However, the Albany Diocese clarified Monday that Hubbard does retain the freedom to publicly celebrate the sacraments but has voluntarily stopped doing so.
“We would like to correct a point in some reports that said there is a diocesan policy that forbids an accused bishop from sacramental ministry,” the diocese said in a statement.
“A diocesan bishop may regulate, that is, limit, circumscribe, or ban exercise within his diocese of any or all sacramental ministries. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger [the current bishop of Albany] has done so in some cases, but in the case of Bishop Hubbard, it is he alone who voluntarily removed himself from any public celebration of sacraments,” the diocese’s statement said.