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The sexual abuse scandal in Manchester diocese of New Hampshire is a significant episode in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States and Ireland.

Management by Mgr. Gendron

Mgr. Odore Joseph Gendron has been criticized for his management of sexual abuse cases among the clergy. He assigned Rev. Paul Aube to a Rochester parish and put him in charge of a youth program even though Aube had confessed to molesting a minor and requested to be kept away from children. Aube allegedly abused at least seven minors at Rochester.[1]

Destroying documents

Gendron was accused of destroying documents detailing child sexual abuse by Revs. Philip Petit and Gordon MacRae during the 1980s.[2] [3]

14 priests named for abuse

In early 2002, Bishop John McCormack publicly announced the names of 14 priests in the diocese who had been accused of sexually abusing children. In April of that same year, he was removed from his post as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse.[4] McCormack later admitted to reassigning pedophilic priests, but claimed poor file-keeping had kept him from knowing the full extent of the problem.

Calls for resignation

Despite repeated calls for his resignation,[4][5][6] including from the New Hampshire Union Leader, he has refused to do so, stating, "Pope John Paul II appointed me to be your shepherd...I will remain [to] toil ceaselessly on your behalf as bishop of Manchester."[7]

Accusation of lying about abuse

During a Mass in October 2002, several members of the congregation accused McCormack of lying about a priest he assigned to the parish without disclosing the latter's affair with a teenage boy, leading the Bishop to shout, "I'm not lying!"[8]

Student petition against the bishop

In 2005, McCormack spoke at a baccalaureate service at Trinity High School despite a student petition asking him not to attend because of his role in the sex abuse scandal.[9]

See also


  1. Frawley-O'Dea, Mary Gail (March 2007). Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. Vanderbilt University Press.
  2. Marchocki, Kathryn (2003-01-08). "Monsignor: N.H. Priest Files Destroyed To Conceal Abuse Evidence". New Hampshire Union Leader.
  3. "Papers: Bishop Destroyed Abuse Records". Parker Waichman Alonso LLP. 2003-01-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Calls by Laity and Clergy for McCormack's Resignation". 2003-04-06.
  5. "Manchester NH Resources – Editorials".
  6. "Demonstrators Call for Resignation of Bishop". The New York Times. 2003-01-27.
  7. "New Hampshire Bishop Rejects Calls to Resign". The New York Times. 2002-05-10.
  8. Dillion, Sam (2002-10-22). "New Hampshire Bishop Embroiled in Abuse Disputes". The New York Times.
  9. Zezima, Katie (2005-06-08). "New Hampshire: Bishop To Speak Despite Objections". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
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