Alleged Victims Call for Resignation of New Hampshire Bishop

More than 200 people gathered outside of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Machester, New Hampshire, on Sunday calling for the resignation on Bishop John B. McCormack, according to the Boston Globe. McCormack, in charge of handling sex abuse complaints against priests from 1985 to 1994 in Boston as an aide to Cardinal Bernard Law, has been widely criticized for his mishandling of these cases, the New York Times reported. Law resigned on December 13 over his mishandling of the priest sex abuse cases, after almost a year of pressure from victims’ support groups. Since 1943, at least 55 priests have been named as sexual abusers in New Hampshire, according to the LA Times.

Manchester was the first diocese facing criminal charges to agree to a settlement, in which diocese officials are required to report all suspicions of child abuse to the local law enforcement. In addition, the diocese will release about 10,000 pages of internal church documents next month as part of the settlement, according to the NY Times. Bill Gately, a New England director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said that the settlement “prevents truth and justice” by ending the state’s plans to file criminal charges, according to the NY Times.

A spokesperson for the Manchester diocese told the NY Times that Bishop McCormack has no plans to resign. An alleged victim who was present at McCormack’s deposition said the bishop claimed that he believed that sexual abuse committed by a priest was a sin, but he did not know it was a crime, according to the LA Times.


Boston Globe 1/27/03; New York Times 1/27/03; Los Angeles Times 1/27/03

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