| New Orleans|
December 15, 1957
September 14, 1981
| June 12, 2009|
Francis B. Schulte
January 3, 2002
Gregory Michael Aymond
| Auxiliary Bishop of Boston (1981–1993)
Titular Bishop of Maximiana in Byzacena (1981–1993)
Bishop of Baton Rouge (1993–2002)|
December 2, 1932 (age 83)
West Roxbury, Massachusetts (1932-12-02)
St. John's Seminary College
Today's Deacon: Contemporary Issues and Cross-currents : the National Association of Diaconate Directors Keynote Addresses, 2005
Saint John's Seminary, Pontifical Gregorian University
Alfred Clifton Hughes Wikipedia
Alfred Clifton Hughes KCHS (born December 2, 1932) is a retired American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the 13th Archbishop of New Orleans, having previously served as Bishop of Baton Rouge from 1993 to 2002. On June 12, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Gregory M. Aymond as the new Archbishop of New Orleans to replace Archbishop Hughes.
Alfred Hughes was born in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, as the third of the four children of Alfred and Ellen (née Hennessey) Hughes; he has two older sisters, Dorothy Callahan and Marie Morgan, and a younger brother, a Jesuit priest named Kenneth. Hughes studied at St. John’s Seminary College, from where he received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1954, and then furthered his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University until 1958.
He was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on December 15, 1957, and then did pastoral work before returning to the Gregorian to obtain a doctorate in spiritual theology from 1959 to 1961. Upon his return to the United States, he became a professor, as well as spiritual director and lecturer, at his alma mater of St. John’s Seminary in 1962.
On July 21, 1981, Hughes was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Boston and Titular Bishop of Maximiana in Byzacena by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 14 from Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, with Bishops Thomas Daily and John D'Arcy serving as co-consecrators. Hughes served as Rector of St. John’s Seminary from 1981 to 1986, and as vicar general and vicar of administration from 1990 until 1993.
He was then named Bishop of Baton Rouge on September 7, 1993, and was installed on November 7 of that same year. On February 16, 2001, Hughes was made Coadjutor Archbishop of New Orleans, serving under Archbishop Francis Schulte. He visited ninety of the archdiocese’s 142 parishes when he arrived there to become more familiar with the people.
Hughes succeeded Schulte as Archbishop of New Orleans upon the latter’s retirement on January 3, 2002. His tenure has been marked by the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, after which he made a televised appearance with Bishop Robert Muench (his successor in Baton Rouge), saying, “God has brought us to our knees in the face of disaster. We are so overwhelmed, we do not really know how to respond. Powerlessness leads us to prayer. And we know when we turn to God, God offers us his grace”. In response to questioning religion during the hurricane’s aftermath, Hughes also said, “People can either turn inward on themselves and lose hope, or they turn upward to God and outward to other people. Our faith teaches us to do the latter, to really believe that God is present and is asking us to be partners with him in the recovery and restoration”.Hughes implemented a controversial post-Katrina church consolidation program that reduced the diocese from 142 parishes to 108. The storm drove away nearly a quarter of its former membership and left it with nearly $300 million in physical damage.
Questions have also been raised by Hughes’s handling of sexual abuse cases by the clergy, in both Boston and New Orleans. For this, he has apologized and said, “Our action or inaction failed to protect the innocents among us, the children. I ask for forgiveness"
The Archbishop has placed an emphasis on evangelization as a major theme of his tenure. He also sits on numerous committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including that which oversees the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
On April 2, 2009, Hughes "joined a growing chorus of Catholic bishops deploring the University of Notre Dame's decision to award President Barack Obama an honorary doctorate at graduation exercises" in May 2009. The reasons concern Obama's support for abortion rights and other issues viewed as incompatible with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, with which the University of Notre Dame is affiliated.
A front-page article in the Times-Picayune on 2009 April 17 pictured Hughes and described his support, representing the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, in support of Senate Bill 115, authored by Danny Martiny, in the Louisiana State Senate. SB 115 would ban mixing of "human and animal cells in a Petri dish" and was thought to be the first bill of its kind, a "pre-emptive strike" against attempts to create hybrid human-ape creatures.
A week later, another front-page article in the Times-Picayune described Hughes' refusal to attend commencement exercises at Xavier University of Louisiana because the ceremony included awarding of an honorary degree to Donna Brazile, a supporter of abortion rights despite his first hand knowledge of and lack of action towards former priest John Geoghan for molestating over 130 victims in Boston where Hughes was once Archbishop along with four other bishops and Cardinal Law back in 1984.
On 2009 June 12 Hughes was, by designation of Pope Benedict XVI, succeeded by Gregory Michael Aymond, the Bishop of Austin, Texas. Hughes continued to serve as apostolic administrator until 2009 August 20, the date of Aymond's installation mass in New Orleans' Saint Louis Cathedral.