LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The funeral mass for Bishop Howard Hubbard brought out regular parishioners and politicians alike. Mourners at St. Pius Church, gathered to pay their last respects to a man who was revered, but also had a complicated legacy.
Bagpipes served as a symphony outside the service commemorating the life and death of Bishop Howard Hubbard. There was plenty of pomp and circumstance inside the mass. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger eulogizing the late Hubbard.
“We also in a special Way commend those for whom the mass is offered to the loving hands of God as we do our brother Howard today” said Scharfenberger.
Hubbard was born on Halloween 1938 in Troy. At age 38, he took his place as head of the Albany archdiocese in 1977, becoming the youngest Bishop in the country. Mister Hubbard was seen as a liberal leader in the church, because of his social justice and peace advocacies. Bishop Avery Comitheir remembered his colleague in faith.
“He had a mission, he knew what he had to do. And come what may, what others thought, what they felt he knew that he had a mission he had to accomplish the least of these” said The Elijah Missionary Baptist Church pastor.
But like rust to a church bell, The Bishop’s legacy was tarnished by multiple child sex abuse allegations which he denied. Hubbard hung up his Bishop’s hat in 2014, later fully retiring from ministry amid controversy in 2022.
Towards the end of his life, the octogenarian had gotten married. The union however, rejected by the Vatican, as catholic priests are sworn to celibacy and the Bishop wasn’t cleared of his clerical duties.
Hubbard died of a stroke on August 19th. He was 84.
“Compassion, if there was a word that I could give, it would be compassion, very compassionate person” said Bishop Comitheir.
At the end of the service the aroma of incense clung in the air while Catholic leaders, priests and pallbearers among them, carried Hubbard’s casket out of the Loudonville church.
Hubbard was buried in an undisclosed cemetery next to his parents after the service.