'McCormack out' Say Catholics Demanding Accountability

By Gary Dennis
The Union Leader [Manchester]
June 7, 2004

More than 100 people turned out near St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester yesterday to speak out against Catholic church leaders.

Amid signs declaring 'Cleanse our Church' and the simply stated 'Accountability,' more than 100 people turned out near St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester for a huge rally yesterday to speak out against Catholic church leaders.

The theme of the gathering: 'McCormack Out Now,' was a sentiment echoed by each of the seven speakers on hand to try and force Manchester Bishop John McCormack and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian to resign.

Representatives from regional and national church abuse groups were on hand for one of the biggest protest events outside the cathedral. The rally included orations from groups such as Survivors First and People of Conscience.

David Clohessy, national director for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) gave what some rally-goers said was the most important message of all: don't let them forget.

'Do everything you can to keep this in the media,' he advised. 'When McCormack speaks, do everything you can to remind the public of his deeds, not his words.'

Posters held aloft by the crowd included sneering statements directed toward McCormack and other Catholic officials. But the most powerful ones were photographs of children with their names and the accompanying alleged abuses by priests.

'How could these men ignore their responsibility to our children?' asked Barbara Broderick of Call to Action New England. 'How could McCormack lie to parishioners where he was sending pedophiles?'

Broderick handed out a bible passage from the book of Jeremiah. She recited it along with the crowd several times throughout her speech.

'They acted shamefully, they committed abomination. Yet they were not at all ashamed. They did not know how to blush,' the passage read.

Kathy Dwyer, coordinator of Speak Truth To Power (STTOP), said McCormack and Christian could only help themselves by stepping down.

'McCormack and Christian, you must resign now,' she said. '. . . it gives you hope for your own healing.'

All seven speakers received applause throughout and after their turns. It was followed by an 'open mike' session and a march around the cathedral.


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