Church in Crisis
New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful Issues Open Letter to McCormack

National Catholic Reporter
February 7, 2003

Even before the Jan. 26 solidarity march in Manchester, N.H., (see related story) a monsignor who is also a historian stirred the pot. Msgr. Wilfrid H. Paradis said that priests' files were destroyed to conceal abuse evidence, according to the Manchester Union Leader's reporting Jan. 8.

"It was my very strong impression that some files had been destroyed and the files were destroyed because of incriminating evidence," Paradis, 80, told the newspaper during an interview. The author of Upon This Granite: Catholicism in New Hampshire 1647-1997, published in 1998, Paradis said he had complete access to diocesan archives and other records and documents while doing research for his book.

The day after the Leader story was published, New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful released an open letter (see below), with a press statement.

"Disclosures this week compound the concern New Hampshire Catholics have about the integrity of records and we ask Bishop McCormack to clarify his position," said Peter Flood, coordinator of the state's Voice of the Faithful group.

-- Chuck Colbert


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