NH- priest pleads guilty to theft; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 3
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The long-time second-in-command of the New Hampshire Catholic diocese, Msgr. Edward Arsenault (he has not been defrocked), is pleading guilty to theft.
We are not surprised. But our hearts ache for New Hampshire clergy sex abuse victims and Catholics who have been betrayed and misled, time and time again, by Msgr. Arsenault and his colleagues and supervisors in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
Msgr. Arsenault has attacked victims, deceived parishioners and defended the indefensible.
He has repeatedly blamed media and others for the on-going abuse and cover up crisis. It was his wrongdoing that led New Hampshire's attorney general to investigate the diocese and insist on overseeing its handling of abuse cases for five years.
We hope New Hampshire's bishop will “come clean” about allegations that Msgr. Arsenault has been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult. And we hope that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in New Hampshire will report to secular officials, not church officials.