State Blasts Diocese Motion on Review Agreement
Questions Raised about Oversight, Cost
June 7, 2004

CONCORD, N.H. -- The state Attorney General's Office filed a harsh reply Monoday to a motion by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Hampshire to limit the scope of any future review of its policy on sexual abuse by priests.

An audit is required by a 2002 agreement between the state and the diocese, but prosecutors and church leaders have wrangled for months over how the audit would be conducted and who would pay for it.

The Attorney General's Office said the diocese wanted the office limited to interviewing only one diocese official and reading the policies of the diocese to determine compliance.

The filing said that is hardly a way to ensure a system of accountability, supervision, transparency and training.

It said diocesan hierarchy often went to great lengths to prevent the public disclosure of new allegations of sexual abuse against clergy and reassigned accused priests to new posts.

It also said standard practice calls for the target of a criminal investigation to bear the cost.


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