The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Letter to NH Attorney General
June 1, 2004
Attorney General Peter Heed
Dear Attorney General Heed:
We are greatly alarmed that the scheduled audit of the Diocese of Manchester has not been followed through. And even more disturbed that the funds for these audits seem to be unavailable, and no audit is planned for the foreseeable future.
As survivors of sexual abuse by priests, we were worried when the original deal was made with the Manchester Diocese between Bishop John McCormack and Attorney General Philip McLaughlin. The agreement avoided indictments in exchange for 5 years of monitoring by the State of New Hampshire. We took some solace in the fact that at least a government agency would be involved to oversee the inner working of the church, so that no more predator priests would be protected at the expense of innocent children.
With no audit in place, New Hampshire children are at risk. There is no reason for the diocese not to go back to "business as usual." Scores of New Hampshire children were sexually abused and raped with the hierarchy of the Manchester Diocese looking the other way. Clearly, the Attorney Generals report of 2002 demonstrates this. Without government intervention, another generation of children will be raped and abused by predator priests. There is no reason to believe that all offending priests have been removed from ministry.
Lack of funding is simply an unacceptable excuse for not following through with this critical deal made with the Manchester Diocese. If your agreement with the Diocese was that they would fund it, then, by all means, it is imperative that they do. The obvious alternative, as with any deal with criminals, should be that indictments would follow, just as prison time is the logical consequence of a person breaking his or her probation. If funding was to come from the state, then there is no more important use of state funds than the protection of children.
Please move quickly and aggressively to live up to the pledges made in the agreement, so that children can be safe.
Ann Hagan Webb, Ed.D., SNAP New England Coordinator, 781-239-1182
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests