Bishop Spin:
Christian Discredits Church Again
The Deceit Continues to Flow from the Diocese of Manchester

The Union Leader [New Hampshire]
Downloaded May 30, 2004

Last week Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian infuriated many and drew a pointed rebuke from the state attorney general. While speaking at St. Mark Church in Londonderry, (ironically, on the subject of moral choices) the bishop was confronted with questions about the child sex abuse scandal. He hotly responded: "You are acting on information that is partial and not complete. There are many, many complicating facts here that you do not know."

He went on to say that the state attorney general's report on the abuse scandals was based on "what perpetrator priests said," and that made it a slanted account of what happened.

The attorney general's report is based on much more than "what perpetrator priests said," as Christian well knows. It contains priest personnel files and other internal church documents, as well as interviews with victims.

Whatever holes the report has are largely the fault of Christian and his boss, Bishop John McCormack, who deceived victims and investigators, and stonewalled the state's attempts to get information on the crimes.

Attorney General Peter Heed responded to Christian's comments by saying that Christian "clearly appears to be taking a step back, a step away from responsibility for criminal acts the church committed."

As far forward as Christian ever stepped, it was only after immense public and state pressure - and a grant of immunity from prosecution. "You ask yourself if Jesus would have asked to have been immune from prosecution," Heed observed.

Honesty plainly is not the policy of the Diocese of Manchester. That's because it is not the policy of John McCormack and Francis Christian. Even now the leadership of this diocese continues to damage the reputation of the church by offering the public more lies and deception.

And what reasons do they have to come clean' The Vatican announced last week that Cardinal Bernard Law was rewarded with a life of ease and luxury in Rome for the sin of casting his flock to the wolves. All McCormack and Christian have to do to receive similar plums is man the barriers until the enemy gets tired of fighting or the Vatican decides it's time for a promotion.

If Christian is so sure that the public has the wrong perception of his and McCormack's roles in the sex abuse scandal, there is an easy solution. Scrap the agreement with the state and welcome the state's prosecution of criminals. We're sure the truth would come out in a trial.


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