Statement - 2007 USCCB National Charter Audit - March 10, 2008

MARCH 11, 2008


(MANCHESTER, NH) The Office of Child and Youth Protection for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released the fifth annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People . The Report is based on an independent compliance audit conducted by the Gavin Group and has been reviewed by the National Review Board, a lay advisory group of the USCCB. In the 2007 audit, the Diocese of Manchester was found in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

In the past six years, child safety has become part of the culture of the Church. The Diocese has established an office dedicated to promoting and ensuring a safe environment in the Church, and this office works with hundreds of pastors, principals, employees, and volunteers in its safe environment work. Among other things, the Diocese has trained over 17,000 adults in sexual abuse awareness, reporting, and prevention; updated and improved its sexual abuse prevention policies, programs, and protocols; and developed a program and materials for children and parents on sexual abuse prevention.

The report issued by the Gavin Group on September 25, 2007, can be found on the website for the Diocese of Manchester ( ). The full Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People may be found at .



January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007

The following data represent reports deemed to have the semblance of truth involving sexual abuse of minors against priests and deacons of the Diocese of Manchester. Clergy that are members of religious institutes are not reported here, as they are reported by their religious institutes. This data was reported to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).

Under diocesan policy in the Diocese of Manchester, all reports of sexual abuse of a minor are reported to the Office for Ministerial Conduct. The Delegate for Ministerial Conduct informs Bishop McCormack and the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General of every report received, regardless of whether it has the semblance of truth. When Bishop McCormack determines that there is a “semblance of truth” to a report, he immediately provides for the pastoral care of the complainant, initiates a preliminary investigation in accordance with Church law, and places the accused person on precautionary leave pending the conclusion of the preliminary investigation. If the civil authorities conduct an investigation, the preliminary investigation conducted by the Delegate for Ministerial Conduct is suspended until that investigation is concluded.

The church investigation is conducted by the Delegate for Ministerial Conduct using a professional lay investigator. All investigative material is provided to the Diocesan Review Board with a recommendation from the Delegate and the investigator as to whether or not the report is “probable.” The Diocesan Review Board then advises Bishop McCormack of its findings regarding the probability of the report and makes a recommendation relative to the accused person’s suitability for ministry. Regardless of whether the report is deemed probable, Bishop McCormack forwards to the Holy See all reports of sexual abuse of a minor against priests or deacons that have the semblance of truth, along with his recommendation for its final disposition in accordance with church law..

REPORTS (1/1/07-12/31/07)

No .

Number of reports


Dates when reported abuse of
a minor began

1954 or earlier 0
1955-1959 2
1960-1964 1
1965-1969 1
1970-1974 2
1975-1979 4
1980-1984 1
1985-1989 0
1990-1994 0
1995-1999 0
2000-2004 0
2005 0
2006 0
Time period unknown 0

Gender of those making reports ¹ Male 8

Female 1
Who made report to Diocese

Complainant 4
Family member 0
Friend of victim 0
Attorney 7
Law enforcement 0
Bishop or official from another

Other 0
Ages of complainant when reported abuse began

0-9 years 2

10-14 years 4

15-17 years 5
Age unknown 0

Number of priests named


Deceased, already removed already
laicized or missing
Have been permanently removed or
retired from ministry in 2007 based
on allegations of abuse
Have been returned to ministry in
2007 based on the resolution of the
allegations ²
Remain temporarily removed from
ministry pending investigation of
allegations ³ (as of 12/31/07)
Remain in active ministry pending
investigation of allegations (as of

¹Two complainants made reports against more than one priest.

²Resolution means that following the investigation, the allegations were determined to be not probable.

³One priest was removed prior to 2007 and as of December 31, 2007, remains temporarily removed pending investigation of the allegations against him.


Under Bishop McCormack’s leadership, the Diocese has responded to hundreds of requests for financial settlements by survivors of child sexual abuse and has reported annually the total amounts of these settlements. In making any such financial disclosure, the Diocese complies with all requests by complainants that their identities and their individual settlement amounts not be disclosed to the public. Complainants are not asked by the Diocese to observe any disclosure restrictions.

In calendar year 2007, the Diocese entered into settlements with 7 individuals for a total amount of $1,334,000.00 in settlements. Note that the settlement amount does not correlate with the number of individuals making reports in 2007. Some 2007 settlements were related to reports made prior to 2007, and not all persons making reports request financial support to assist in healing. Financial settlements are paid from the diocesan Insurance Fund. No parish, Catholic school, or other diocesan funds have been used to pay these costs.

In addition to the foregoing payments, in 2007, the Diocese of Manchester paid $42,807 to independent mental health providers for services provided to survivors of sexual abuse. The Office for Healing and Pastoral Care coordinates this care and provides referral services as well.