Bishop Feels 'Horrendous Pain' at Sex Abuse Crisis

CNN News
Downloaded March 15, 2003

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) -- In an interview Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany described the clergy sex abuse crisis of the past year as "a dark night of the soul" and "a year of horrendous pain." He said, "The whole year has been one sadness after another. ... When you think you have addressed a problem constructively, it turns out to be inadequate and not responsive to what you were trying to accomplish. It is an unrelenting series of events that are very anguishing and difficult to deal with." The interview was conducted by James Breig, editor of the Albany diocesan newspaper, The Evangelist. It was published in the paper's March 13 edition. Bishop Hubbard said it was "heart-rending and gut-wrenching" last June to have to remove permanently from ministry six priests who were friends and colleagues. "At the same time, I knew that they had acknowledged their misconduct," he said. "Having talked to victims and their families, I knew the pain they had suffered. The victims of abuse correctly perceived that allowing a priest to remain in ministry meant that the church did not fully comprehend the harm they had endured. Indeed, there is no room in ministry for a priest who abuses children."

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