Letter from Voice of the Faithful to Bishop McCormick of NH Diocese
New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful
P.O. Box 423
Concord, NH 03302-0423January 9, 2003
Most Reverend John B. McCormack, D.D.
Diocese of Manchester
153 Ash St.
P.O. Box 310
Manchester NH 03105-0310
Dear Bishop McCormack:
The Steering Committee of New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful, representing eight chapters statewide, is deeply troubled by revelations this week of a previous bishop’s destruction of records associated with sexual abuse by a priest, and of records possibly destroyed under your own administration. A diocesan public relations spokesman said documents have not been destroyed since November 2000, leaving two years after your installation here in 1998 when such activity may have occurred. We find these disclosures alarming, since the permanent integrity of all diocesan documents going forward is a vital concern. Without the records of past sexual abuse by clergy, harmful practices endorsed less than one year ago might still be in effect today.
Given this history, we are sensitive to the implications of your agreement last month with Attorney General Philip McLaughlin that avoided criminal prosecution of the diocese. That agreement allows the destruction of the records of deceased priests accused of sexual misconduct upon the death of the accused. As the result of a recent tragedy involving the untimely death of a priest, you are now theoretically in a position to destroy his records.
We urge you to publicly pledge that the diocese will not destroy any more records associated with sexual abuse allegations against any priest, whether living or deceased. These records are a crucial archive of how the diocese has handled allegations in the past, how it is doing today, and how it will handle them in the future. We believe all these records, not just a summary of each one, should be maintained as a permanent archive. This is necessary both to provide a lasting record of the diocese’s response to these cases, and to keep them available as a resource for survivors of abuse who have not yet come forward. Such actions merely fulfill your own promise to assure the preeminence of the healing of those harmed over any other concern of the diocese (December 15, 2002 homily). We heartily support this focus and pray it will be implemented.
According to the diocese’s own numbers, released at the press conference announcing the agreement with the Attorney General, 43% of the New Hampshire diocesan priests involved in sexual abuse allegations are deceased. The diocese’s records on these priests can provide vital validation for survivors in coming to grips with the enormity of the abuse and betrayal they experienced. Ultimately, those records belong to the people of this diocese, and it is imperative that they be preserved.
The agreement with the Attorney General allows the diocese to destroy these records; it does not require that you destroy them. We ask you to immediately and publicly pledge to retain every page of every record of every priest ever accused of sexual misconduct in a permanent archive that will be an essential part of the diocese’s efforts to provide greater accountability on these cases.
We believe a strong and prompt pledge from the diocese to maintain these records will be a tremendous help in rebuilding the bridge of trust between the Church and those who are heartbroken and disillusioned by this crisis, as you yourself must be.
Peter Flood, coordinator
New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful
Posted on March 22, 2012, in Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Child Sex Abuse, Christianity, Christians, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, His Unholiness The Papal Bullshitter Pope Benedict, Manchester Diocese, Manchester Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Manchester NH Diocese, Pedophile, Pedophile Priests, Perverted Priests, Pope Benedict, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Reverend John B. McCormack, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse, Separation of Church and State, St Thomas Moore Parish Durham NH and tagged abuse, bishops, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, child abuse, child porn, child pornography, child rape, child rapists, child sex abuse, christ, christianity, christians, church, clergy abuse, crimes against children, devil, evil, jesus christ, Manchester Diocese. New Hampshire Diocese, pedophile, pedophille, pedophilles, perverted priests, perverts, pope, pope abuse, pope benedict, priest abuse, priest pedophilles, priest rape, priest sex abuse, priests, rape, rapists, religion, Reverend John B. McCormack, roman catholic church, roman catholic church sex scandal, roman catholics, scandal, sex abuse, sex scandal, St Thomas More, St Thomas More Durham NH, St Thomas More Parish, victims of rape. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.