From the Diocese of Albany:
Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard, once the youngest bishop in the United States and known as a staunch advocate of the poor and those struggling with addiction, but was relieved of his pastoral duties after his legacy was tarnished by allegations of sexual abuse in 2019, died at the age of 84 in Albany on August 19.
“The life of a priest is never about himself but for those whom he serves, to whom he is sent. 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,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger in a released statement.
Bishop Hubbard leaves a complicated history in the Diocese of Albany, still beloved by many of the faithful. He was the charismatic “street priest” who helped those in need and suffering from addiction in Albany’s South End, and made national headlines when he became bishop at the age of 38, but later became tainted by allegations of sexual abuse. And just this year, he married in a civil ceremony after his request to be laicized by the Vatican was turned down.
Priests are called to sanctify, to ‘make holy,’ to lift others up to God,” continued Bishop Scharfenberger. “As all priests are human, broken men, in need of redemption themselves from their own sins, we also pray for those who were in any way hurt or wounded by any priest they may have encountered. We join with everyone who can see this moment as an occasion to pray for all priests, living and deceased, and those they serve, to lift up our minds and hearts to the one God who alone knows our hearts and seeks the salvation of us all.”
This follows the news yesterday that he was seriously ill.
From OSV News:
Retired Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany has been hospitalized at Albany Medical Center after suffering a major stroke this week.
“Please pray for Bishop Howard Hubbard. I received news that he is currently hospitalized at Albany Medical Center. Our chaplains have visited him and anointed him. We do not have further detail at this time but will update you as information comes in,” Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger said in a statement Aug. 18. “I urge you to offer prayer, find strength in God, and know that He walks with us. Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear. I am with you: do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Bishop Hubbard, who also suffered a stroke last year after he was involved in a minor car accident, had recently announced that was married in a civil ceremony after the Vatican had denied his request to be laicized.