Contact: John Moynihan, email@example.com,
(617) 558-5252, (617) 680-2131 cell
For Immediate release
New Hampshire Catholic Bishop John McCormack to agree to the New Hampshire attorney general’s request for a fourth state audit
February 8, 2008 - It took the pressure of an impending court hearing this coming Monday to force New Hampshire Catholic Bishop John McCormack to agree to the New Hampshire attorney general’s request for a fourth state audit. McCormack had declined since 2006 to commit to such an audit, and last May refused outright to cooperate with the state after December 31, 2007.
McCormack has engaged in a pattern of obstruction since December 2002 when he signed a plea bargain agreement that prevented prosecution of the Diocese for criminally endangering children, with perjury as part of the indictment. The agreement called for five annual audits through December 2007, to assure effective implementation of the Diocese’s sexual abuse policy. McCormack’s unsuccessful court challenge of the comprehensive audit the state desired delayed the process for over two years, and resulted in the decision by the state to reduce the number to four.
The need for state audits is clear from comparing their results to Church audits by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Diocesan Review Board (DRB). For instance the last state audit in 2006 found numerous lapses in documentation verifying screening and training records, no evidence of national sex offender registry checks, required in addition to state checks; and verification forms with dates for 100% compliance before compliance was actually achieved.
By contrast, the USCCB 2006 audit comprised two sentences noting full compliance with the Dallas Charter, and that the auditors depended on “the completeness and accuracy” of information provided by the Diocese. In 2005, the state found that the “level of compliance” by the Diocese was “inconsistent at best,” with ineffectiveness across the board. The USCCB wrote only a single paragraph indicating success, save the need to train additional children.
“Voice of the Faithful applauds Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and her staff for their steadfast resolve to protect the children of New Hampshire”, said Carolyn Disco, survivor support chairman of the state’s affiliates. Bishop McCormack also deserves credit for finally accepting his obligation to fulfill the terms of the agreement he signed with the state.
John Moynihan (617) 558-5252, (617) 680 2131 ©
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