ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Howard Hubbard died on August 19 as a result of a stroke, according to Behan Communications. He was 84 years old.
Hubbard served as a leader of the liberal wing of the American Catholic Church for over 50 years. He was known for his activism and outspoken advocacy for peace, social justice, care for the poor, and friendship with other faiths.
The former bishop was born in Troy and grew up in Lansingburgh. He took pride in tending to over 400,000 Catholics from his diocese across his career.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany released a statement on Hubbard’s passing, saying that “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.”
Scharfenberger continued, saying “Priests are called to sanctify, to “make holy,” to lift others up to God. 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.”
Hubbard reportedly married in a civil ceremony in July. He stepped down as bishop in 2014, before fully retiring from the ministry amid controversy back in 2022.
Summing up his own priestly career back in 2013, Hubbard once stated “I tried to be a disciple of Jesus and a compassionate shepherd. I didn’t always succeed, but I tried my best.”