Sunday 1st February 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Agony In Albany Revisited . . . Honors Galore For Retiring Bishop Hubbard

November 9, 2013 Frontpage No Comments

By PAUL LIKOUDIS

“This is a time of taking stock for the bishop,” wrote The Albany Times-Union’s Paul Grondahl on September 30.
“Several honorary dinners and liturgies are being planned for [Bishop Howard] Hubbard. Masters of ceremony will strain to find new superlatives.”
On October 20, a crowd packed Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Albany to honor Bishop Hubbard as he celebrated the 50 years of his Ordination as a priest. Among those present were Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York and his predecessor, Edward Cardinal Egan.
On October 29, Siena College was slated to host an academic symposium in honor of Hubbard, including comments by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, now retired from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“The Siena symposium will bring together scholars to speak about central themes of his time as bishop: social justice, lay leadership, and interfaith dialogue,” wrote Grondahl. “‘Those are three things he has always believed in and he supports them in good times and in bad,’ said the Rev. Kenneth Paulli, chief of staff at Siena and an organizer of the symposium. ‘The bishop lives his faith and does not sway with the wind of popularity’.”

+    +    +

In his 36 years as bishop of Albany — more than half of his lifetime — Howard Hubbard and his followers have presented him as the model Vatican II bishop, possessed of a vision of the Church and a steely determination to implement it regardless of any hurdles that might pop up.
For example, in the spring of 2004, when Hubbard was facing allegations from two former male prostitutes that they had had sexual relations with him, was waging a public relations campaign to protect his reputation, and had just retained a former federal prosecutor, Mary Jo White, to clear his name, he charged his critics with trying to derail Vatican II.
As he told Albany Associated Press reporter Michael Gormley:
“It is not just an attack upon myself. It is an agenda about the direction the Church is moving and people want to turn back the clock and renounce the strides we made in ecumenism and religious liberty and liturgical reform and go back to the Church of before the Second Vatican Council. And if they can take down a leader like myself, no matter what means are used, then that’s their goal. I’m not going to allow myself to be used that way. . . . I’m not going to hide.”
Mary Jo White cleared Hubbard of the allegations.
Now, according to the Times-Union’s Paul Grondahl, Hubbard’s reign as bishop “and his entire priesthood [were] shaped by the Second Vatican Council. . . . Hubbard presented a personal reflection on the Second Vatican Council in an hour-long scholarly lecture on September 4 for the St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry opening convocation.
“ ‘This set forth a radically different vision of the church and it became my blueprint for serving people,’ Hubbard said. He praised its more pastoral model, with a greater focus on helping the needy and less rigid structure of Church hierarchy. He said he embraced this new tone of collegiality and collaboration in the motto he took when he was made bishop: ‘Rejoice, we are God’s people.’
“He said he took to heart the council’s call to increase the role of lay people in the Church. ‘As bishops, we were no longer just the branch managers of the Church,’ Hubbard said. ‘It was an inclusive view of mission and ministry’. . . .
“Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark, 76, who retired last year as bishop of the Rochester Diocese, was in the audience. The two met nearly 60 years ago as seminarians at Mater Christi. Clark is Hubbard’s longest and closest personal friend. ‘He’s very much the person I’ve known and began to admire all those years ago. He’s a kind, sensitive, and humble man with a sharp intellect,’ Clark said.
“Nobody can understand the strain of what Hubbard faced as well as Clark, who had to deal with similar issues in Rochester. During the height of the pedophile priest scandal and a 2004 investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Hubbard, the two spoke frequently on the phone. An extraordinarily intrusive investigation by former prosecutor Mary Jo White concluded with a 200-page report that found ‘no credible evidence’ to the allegations made by men about sexual encounters with the bishop and left a $2 million legal bill for the diocese.”
When Bishop Hubbard submits his resignation letter on October 31, his 75th birthday, he’ll be stepping down from a diocese that he has, in fact, remade in his own image.
Consider these diocesan statistics from three years, 1965 (Hubbard was ordained to the priesthood in 1963), 1990 (Hubbard had been bishop of Albany since 1977), and 2011:
In 1990, the estimated population within the Diocese of Albany was just over one million, of whom approximately 400,000 were Catholic. Today, the population has grown to just under 1,400,000, of whom 330,000 are Catholics.
Parishes: 207; 196; 127.
Diocesan priests: 426; 255; 106 (and 90 retired priests).
Elementary schools: 106; 44; 19.
High schools: 25; 7; 4.
Total number of students attending Catholic schools, K-12: 51,131; 12,261; 4,527.
Total number of religious brothers and sisters teaching: 1,595; 91; 8.
This sharp decline exemplifies the fears that members of the Coalition of Concerned Catholics in the Diocese of Albany expressed to this reporter for his ten-part Wanderer series “Agony in Albany.” The series was published over ten weeks beginning on March 7, 1991, in anticipation of his 15th anniversary as bishop.
The first installment was headlined: “Catholics Priests and Laity Fear Church Will Not Survive in Albany.”
The series first detailed Hubbard’s early career as an influential chancery operative in Albany — in 1973, he was named chairman of the Priests’ Personnel Board; in 1974, director of the Pastoral Planning Office; in 1976, a member of the Diocesan Board of Consultors, and, in November 1976, he was elected administrator of the diocese to replace Bishop Edwin Broderick — and his numerous, influential positions on various committees of the United States Catholic Conference/National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Part 1 of the series ended with this quotation from Catholic layman Tom Coffey: “There’s a lot you can say about the bishop’s leadership in Albany: the steady decline of the diocese, the schools and parishes closing….This is a Church that is dying. There is no vitality. That’s worrisome to many here.”

The Problem Of Dissent

Part 2 of “Agony in Albany” was on “The Problem of Dissent” in the diocese, and reported on Hubbard’s support for prominent American dissenters.
One of the first guests Hubbard invited to the diocese was then-Fr. Anthony Kosnick, editor of the notorious Human Sexuality. As “Agony in Albany” reported:
“The year Bishop Howard Hubbard was installed as bishop of Albany was a pivotal year for the Church in the United States. In 1977, the attacks on Pope Paul VI escalated during what would be the last full year of his embattled pontificate, and the Catholic Theological Society of America released the notorious Human Sexuality. Msgr. George Kelly [author of The Battle for the American Church] has described that work as ‘the climax of an orchestrated volley of shots against the Church’s sexual ethics.’
“The book, eventually condemned by the American bishops, sanctioned not only contraception, but sterilization, artificial insemination, mate-swapping, adultery, premarital intercourse, homosexuality, masturbation, patient-therapist sex, and even left the door open for bestiality. . . .
“The chairman of the CTSA committee that wrote the book was Fr. Anthony Kosnick, a professor at Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in the Detroit Archdiocese. One of Bishop Howard Hubbard’s first revealing acts as bishop was to sanction Kosnick’s Albany appearance.
“There, Kosnick spoke in a public forum, granted an interview to The Evangelist (the diocesan newspaper), and addressed an assembly of priests. . . .
“When it was reported that Anthony Kosnick would speak in Albany, Coffey wrote a letter informing the bishop that it was highly unlikely that Fr. Kosnick would present the Church’s official teaching on sexuality.
“The bishop replied, ‘To my knowledge, there is no prohibition of workshops dealing with human sexuality. A workshop is not an official teaching medium for the Church in general or this diocese in particular.’
“During his visit to Albany, Kosnick defended the CTSA’s Human Sexuality, asserting that it was ‘a development of the Church’s teaching and is faithful to Church Tradition and Scriptures.’
“In an interview with The Evangelist, Kosnick said that his only regret in releasing the study was that he had not done it 20 years earlier.”
Among other dissenters Hubbard allowed into the diocese in his early years were: Sr. Margaret Farley, RSM; Fr. Charles Curran; Fr. Robert Nugent and Fr. Philip Keane (both homosexual propagandists); Fr. Gregory Baum; Fr. Matthew Fox, OP; the lesbian/witch Mary Hunt.

The Stones Will Cry Out

Part 3 of “Agony in Albany,” “Bishop Hubbard’s Toleration of Dissent,” detailed the large number of dissenters — priests, religious, and laity — in influential positions in the diocese, and its Catholic colleges.
That installment opened:
“In September 1987, when Howard Hubbard had been bishop for ten years, The Albany Times-Union and The Knickerbocker News published the results of a survey on what Catholics believe. The survey showed that Albany-area Catholics ‘don’t toe the papal line.’
“Sixteen percent agreed with the Pope on all issues; 16 percent disagreed with most of the Pope’s positions; and 66 percent agreed with some of his teachings and disagreed with others.
“Nearly 55 percent of Catholics polled approved of divorce and remarriage; 49 percent believed women should be ordained, 41 percent disapproved; almost 63 percent said priests should be allowed to marry; 25 percent believed abortion should remain legal; 72.4 percent approved of artificial birth control, and only 18 percent did not; 45 percent approved of sex between unmarried adults; and 43 percent disapproved of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.”
The “Agony in Albany” report then named prominent dissenters in Albany:
“On February 22, 1980, a statement titled Even the Stones Will Cry Out, protesting a ‘new pattern of intimidation which is appearing in our Church,’ was published in the National Catholic Reporter.
“The statement expressed the fear many dissenters had that Pope John Paul II was about to lower the boom on major dissenters such as Edward Schillebeeckx, Hans Kung, Charles Curran, Leonardo Boff, and a host of others. It was signed by leading figures in the Albany Church.
“Among those from Albany who told the Pope that ‘we shall not go away’ was Mary Reed Newland, chairman of the Committee on Adult and Home Education for the Diocese of Albany, adviser for the Albany Curriculum sex education program [which was banned in two U.S. dioceses], a nationally known critic of Humanae Vitae, and a member of the National Committee for Human Sexuality.
“Fr. Thomas Berardi, then a judge on the Diocesan Tribunal and a counselor and professor of religious studies at the College of St. Rose, also signed the document. Fr. Berardi, who has signed almost every subsequent expression of dissent, such as The Love of Christ Impels Us (January 9, 1987) and The New York Times ad of February 28, 1990, defended Curran’s visit to the College of St. Rose. . . .
“Also signing were Dennis McDonald, a youth minister for the diocese and an adviser for the Albany sex education program, and ex-Sr. Judith Mazza, a feminist who was involved in parish ministry formation and was a leader in the recent women’s discussion groups for the Albany Women’s Commission. Though an advocate of women’s ordination and a frequent critic of Humanae Vitae, she is still active in religious education programs in the diocese.
“Other signers included Sr. Maria Mercurio, CSJ, catechist at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; Sr. Barbara DiTomaso, CSJ, of the Diocesan Peace and Justice Committee; Jack Simeone and, his wife Denise…; Fr. Michael Hogan, chaplain at Bishop Maginn School; Fr. Gary Gelfenbein, who was campus minister at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Fr. Thomas Phelan, also a campus minister and a member of the Diocesan Committee on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs and ‘Art and Architecture’; and Fr. Joseph Cotugno, now a campus minister at the State University at Albany.
“This list is by no means exhaustive, but it backs up a claim made by one priest that ‘dissenters get all the key positions in the diocese. It’s not that he just passively allows dissent to go on around him,’ he said, ‘but he willingly promotes people who are not loyal to the Magisterium. It’s so bad, you feel like you don’t belong to the same Church.
“ ‘Bishop Hubbard had a vocations director who used to tell people he didn’t believe in the physical Resurrection of Christ; his vocations co-director was an advocate of women’s ordination; the head of his tribunal is promoting “internal forum” solutions over ecclesiastical annulments’. . . .
“Dissent in Albany is not confined to Humanae Vitae, but covers a wide area, including married priests and women priests, liturgical norms, religious education and the sacraments, especially the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.
“Bishop Hubbard’s typical response when confronted with dissent in Albany is, ‘I can only reiterate that I have said nothing which opposes, weakens, or otherwise brings into question the clear teaching of our Church’” — all evidence to the contrary!

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

New Congressional Bill Declares Homosexual Love as a Basic Human Right

U.S. lawmakers in both houses of Congress introduced on Thursday a bill to protect and promote the rights of the international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The International Human Rights Defense Act, spearheaded by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and…Continue Reading

STUDENTS AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OFFERED CREDIT THROUGH INTERNSHIP AT NOW

SAINT PAUL, MN. – Administrators at the University of St. Thomas, a private Catholic liberal arts school, are standing firm behind their controversial decision to allow students to gain academic credit by interning at the Minnesota-based NOW chapter. Doug Hennes,…Continue Reading

S.F. Catholic Church priest bans girls as altar servers

A Catholic priest, new to San Francisco and no stranger to controversy, has banned girls from acting as altar servers at Mass, a decision that sets his parish apart from all others in the archdiocese. The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor…Continue Reading

Notre Dame theologian known for books, liberal stands, dies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian known for his unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings and his popular books on Catholicism, died Sunday in his native Connecticut, according to the…Continue Reading

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy. “We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis,…Continue Reading

Cardinal: No pro-life victory without reaching the marginalized

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston…Continue Reading

70 Churches Destroyed in ‘Anti-Charlie Hebdo’ Protests

The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of 10 people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest,…Continue Reading

ITALY: Muslims smash, urinate on statue of Mary

A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by five “immigrants.” The…Continue Reading

At new in-flight press conference Francis says good Catholics are not required ‘to be like rabbits’

Catholics fail to practise “responsible parenthood” when they have too many children, Pope Francis has said during an in-flight press conference on the way home from Manila. He also denounced the teaching of “gender theory” in schools, likening it to…Continue Reading

CRUX’s “spirituality columnist” is “devastated” the Pope upholds Catholic teaching

Margery Eagan appears to be angling for a job as editor of National “Catholic” Reporter. Or perhaps spokesman for the LCWR: The news that Pope Francis has strongly defended the Church’s ban on artificial birth control left me, in a word, devastated. Goodness. Even…Continue Reading

St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese declares bankruptcy in response to abuse lawsuits

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, saying it cannot meet its financial obligations from an unprecedented wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese…Continue Reading

Pope Francis strongly defends church teaching against contraception

Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: cultivate and preserve Mother Earth

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday received members of  Italy’s National Federation of Farmers, who are this year celebrating the 70th anniversary of their foundation. Pope Francis told the farmers present in the Clementine Hall  that there is no humanity without the cultivation of the earth, as there is also no life without good food that is produced for men and…Continue Reading

Pope: No To Ecclesial Elites Who Privatize The Faith

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis says ecclesial elites who form cliques and scorn others are privatizing the faith and not following the way of Jesus.  His words came during his homily at morning Mass on Thursday (29th January) celebrated in the Santa Marta residence. The Pope’s homily was a reflection on the need for Christians to follow Jesus in the way…Continue Reading

Pope tells Dads to spend time with their children

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on fathers to be present in the lives of their children pointing out that the absence of a ‘father figure’ can have grave consequences. Speaking on Wednesday during the weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, choosing to focus on the dignity and role of fathers. He said that teaching…Continue Reading

General Audience: Pope Focuses On Role Of Father In Family Life

pope7115

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on fathers to be present in the lives of their children pointing out that the absence of a ‘father figure’ can have grave consequences. Speaking on Wednesday during the weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, choosing to focus on the dignity and role of fathers. He said that teaching…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Hitler And Physics

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Ball, Philip. Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2014. Pp ix +303. Available on amazon.com. With access to reams of correspondence, other archival material, and public records, Philip Ball provides a valuable account of how German scientists related to the Third…Continue Reading

Complementarity As Hendiadys

By DONALD DeMARCO Hendiadys is a figure of speech in which two words are used to intensify the meaning of one thing. It is an ingenious form of cognitive amplification. As a Greek word, hendiadys means “one through two” (hen-dia-dys). Short and sweet are two words that, when in tandem, give added strength and clarity…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . Pontmain Apparition, France, January 1871

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The Franco-Prussian War, which began in 1870, was the backdrop to this silent apparition of Our Lady at Pontmain in northwestern France. By January 1871, the country was in a very serious position militarily, with the Prussians controlling two-thirds of the country and Paris besieged. It seemed to be only a…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Catholic Hospitals Use The Morning-After Pill For Rape Victims?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a compact disc with more than 320 patient information pamphlets for all of the different types of abortifacients, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Even with all of the different contraceptives and abortifacients…Continue Reading

Obama’s Tax On Stay-At-Home Moms

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Obama’s disrespect for motherhood has manifested itself in policies ranging from support for same-sex marriage to defense of a form of abortion that involves forcing a baby into a drug-induced premature delivery and then leaving that little one to die. When it comes to the most vulnerable and innocent human…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Creeds

By DON FIER In last week’s column, we laid the groundwork to begin an in-depth exposition of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that we, as Catholic Christians, are called to believe: the one, true faith we profess in the Creeds of the Church. For it is in the formulas of the Creeds that, “through the centuries,…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: From time to time, readers want to know how to respond to the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”). This is the notion that the Bible alone is the only authority on matters of faith and practice; if it’s not in the Bible, the theory goes, it isn’t true. This theory rejects Catholic belief in an infallible…Continue Reading

The Path To Joy And Fulfillment

By Fr. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Job 7:1-4, 6-7 1 Cor. 9:16-19; 22-23 Mark 1:29-39 When I looked at the first reading today, I was tempted to check the source and make sure that this was really from 3,500 years ago and not from last week. We hear Job whining and complaining about his…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address At Meeting Of Families In Manila… Set Out On The Path The Lord Sets For Each Of You

MANILA (ZENIT) — Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s January 16 address at a Meeting With Families at the “Mall of Asia Arena” in Manila. In his text, Pope Francis praised the courage of Pope Paul VI in writing Humanae Vitae. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved. + + + The angel of the Lord…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World.. Papal Bloopers And Catholic Teaching

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis continues to grab headlines, not only by setting a new record for drawing the largest crowd in history, but also by his question and answer sessions on the planes to and from his pastoral visits. On the plane to the Philippines, the Pope responded to questions about free speech and violent responses to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mutien Marie Wiaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN A few decades ago, when Catholic schools taught religion from the Baltimore Catechism, one of the first questions children learned was, “Why did God make you?” The answer was, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” The Catechism…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds our finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading