McCormack's Appearance in Auburn Draws Protest

Union Leader News [Auburn NH]
Downloaded May 26, 2003

About a half dozen protesters paced the sidewalk in front of the St. Peter Church in Auburn yesterday as Bishop John B. McCormack appeared at a 10 a.m. service.

McCormack, a central figure in the child abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church and Manchester Diocese for more than a year, didn't refer as much to the scandal as he has in previous sermons.

"We need to rise above our mixed feelings of one another," he said during the sermon. ". . . We all ask ourselves that question - 'Should I do more? Could I do more?'"

Officials at the diocese say they believe all but a handful of the sex-abuse cases in the state are now settled. A settlement last week with a group of 61 people who say they were sexually abused by priests brings the total number of sex-abuse cases settled in the past 11 months to 176. The church said the total payout in that time has reached $15,450,000.

As he has at other parishes in the area, McCormack held a question-and-answer period after yesterday's service. Diocese officials shield those discussions from the media.

Demonstrators outside St. Peter walked along the road shouting and holding posters that say McCormack and other high-ranking church officials are criminals.

The alleged abuses stretch back 40 to 50 years.


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