With very little pomp and circumstance, Albany Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard was laid to rest on Friday.
"Where by life and not death have the final say, where that even when our days are over on this earth, our eternity is only beginning, and it is that eternity that we accompany our brother Howard towards, as we pray for him today, not only remembering, but hoping," said Albany Bishop Edward Sharfenberger, who celebrated the Mass of Christian burial at St. Pius X in Loudonville.
Many of the funeral details had been kept private since Hubbard's passing following a stroke last weekend at the age of 84.
Hubbard had asked the Vatican to be returned to the lay state before his death, but that was denied due to outstanding lawsuits against him regarding sexual abuse cases.
Hubbard made headlines again recently, when he announced he had married a woman in a civil ceremony this summer.
"There's a lot in this world to condemn," Sharfenberger said. "Have you noticed we don't live in a perfect world? Not yet. But I rather choose the way of hope than despair. God never gives up on any of us. I invite you to join me in my belief that hope is what is worth living for."
Hubbard, known as a street priest early on in his ministry in Albany, was seen by many as a progressive during his 37 years leading the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese. But the good was, at times, overshadowed by controversy.
The bishop was accused several times of sexual abuse, which he denied until his death. The former bishop is named in seven pending lawsuits.
"Into your hands, oh, Father of mercies, we commend our brother Howard in the sure and certain hope that together, with all that have died in Christ, he will rise with him on the last day, merciful Lord, turn toward us and listen to our prayers. Open the gates of paradise to your servant and help us who remain to comfort one another with assurances of faith until we all meet in Christ, and are with you and with our brother forever."