Attorney: Deposition Ties Bishop Christian to Abuse Cases
Memo Mentions Bishop's Involvement with Bishop Guertin High School
TheChamplainChannel.com [Manchester NH]
July 8, 2003
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- New information from a deposition shows Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian may have advised leaders of Bishop Guertin High School to keep allegations of sexual abuse hidden from the public.
The deposition addresses a memo written in 1995 by Brother Roland Ouellete, the former provincial superior of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The memo shows that Christian was called to help deal with sexual abuse at Bishop Guertin High School.
"What happened with Monsignor Christian is disturbing," attorney Peter Hutchins said.
Hutchins said the parents of one of his clients went to Oulette in 1995 to report that their son had allegedly been sexually abused by Brother Guy Beaulieu in 1977. According to Oullette's memo, the parents didn't want money. They wanted action -- specifically, an apology, a letter to former students who attended school at the time and a Mass of reconciliation for victims.
In the memo, Oullette said he called then-Monsignor Christian and "he said that their request of us going public would be too much for the school and the diocese and that we would have to talk about this some more before we decided to do so."
Under oath last month, Oullette said Christian told him not to write the letter to students that informed them about the allegations.
"Essentially he said that it would be harmful for the school and the diocese," Hutchins said. "'You should not have this Mass, go public or write these letters.' And if the order was considering to do it, they ought to consult again."
Hutchins said because the school is not under authority of the Diocese of Manchester, school leaders are responsible for the alleged cover-up.
A spokesman said the diocese would not comment on this case.
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