The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, April 1, 2011
NH Catholic bishop blasted by NH politician; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])
Focusing on how one adult insults another won’t protect kids from child molesters. Let's focus instead on how many adults hurt many kids through childhood sexual abuse, and how to prevent it by reforming archaic, predator-friendly laws, most notably the statute of limitations.
Church officials - like Bishop McCormack - often ignore it and conceal child sex crimes. And secular officials - like New Hampshire politicians - often won't revise out-dated child safety laws. So rather than call each other names, we hope all parties here will instead take action - real action - that will protect kids.
A politician gets mad and a bishop gets defensive and nothing changes. If these gentlemen really care about kids, we’ll know when they take tangible new steps toward safeguarding the vulnerable. Unless that happens, a potentially helpful ‘teachable moment’ will just be a sad ‘tempest in a teapot.’
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
House Leader Calls Bishop 'Pedophile Pimp'
Bettencourt Says He Stands By Facebook Post
CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire House majority leader said he stands by his Facebook post referring to Catholic Bishop John McCormack as a "pedophile pimp."
McCormack spoke at a Statehouse rally Thursday, criticizing budget cuts.
On Friday morning, Bettencourt responded on his Facebook page.
"Bishop John McCormick (sic) of the Catholic Diocese of NH told the crowd, ‘It’s a moral concern (because) the vulnerable take priority in our society.’ Would the Bishop like to discuss his history of protecting the “vulnerable”? This man is a pedophile pimp who should have been led away from the State House in handcuffs with a rain coat over his head in disgrace. He has absolutely no moral credibility to lecture anyone," the post said.
McCormack was previously a top aide to Cardinal Bernard Law and faced pressure to resign over his handling of sexually abusive priests in Boston.
He was cleared of criminal charges in Massachusetts, and he settled lawsuits with more than 160 victims who were sexually abused by New Hampshire priests.
Bettencourt said he stands by what he said.
"Yes, my language was colorful but I stand by the sentiment in describing a man who has in my opinion brought shame and dishonor on my church here in New Hampshire," he said in a statement. "As a practicing Catholic, it is truly disappointing that we would have a leader with a record of enabling such egregious and unacceptable behavior. From my perspective, it will be a great day for New Hampshire Catholics when Bishop McCormack retires and we can bring new leadership to the church that is untainted by the abuses of our current bishop. He stepped on to secular soil yesterday and he should not be above being called out on the merits of his words and actions,” he said.
News 9 has reached out to the Diocese for comment.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests