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Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany dies at 84, leaving complicated history

Retired Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y. is seen in this 2013 file photo. The Diocese of Albany announced that Bishop Hubbard died Aug. 19, 2023, after having suffered a massive stroke earlier in the week. (OSV News photo/Nate Whitchurch, via Diocese of Albany)

ALBANY, N.Y. (OSV News) — Retired Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany died Aug. 19 at age 84 after having reportedly suffered a major stroke earlier in the week.

Once the youngest bishop in the United States, he was known as a staunch advocate of the poor and those struggling with addiction, but in 2019 was relieved of his pastoral duties after accusations of sexual abuse. Earlier this month, he announced that he had been married civilly after the Vatican denied a request for laicization he made last year. Bishop Hubbard was bishop of Albany from 1977-2014.

“The life of a priest is never about himself but for those whom he serves, to whom he is sent,” said Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger in a statement. “As we commend our brother, Howard Hubbard, to the God of all mercy, we pray also for all those who, throughout the course of his life, as priest, bishop, and friend, were inspired and encouraged along their own journey, especially those who received the sacraments through his ministry.”

Watch your local Catholic news source for the full OSV News story.

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