Albany, N.Y., Aug 17, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY has decided that he will not laicize 13 priests in the diocese who were involved in the Church’s priestly sexual abuse scandal, saying that public removal from ministry is a just punishment.
"I believe, he said, according to the Times-Union newspaper that, “after reflection and consultation with the misconduct board and my canonical advisers, that the formal and public removal from ministry is sufficient punishment for the priest and adequate protection for the community."
The bishop’s decision means that the priests can live out the remainder of their lives with diocesan pensions and health insurance in place.
Although some have criticized the bishop’s stance, he clarified that, "that's the route I have taken…in accordance with the charter [of the U.S. Bishops] and canonical laws of the church."