NH Diocese Facing Criminal Indictment, First to Settle
Faced with criminal violations, carrying fines as high as $20,000, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester on Tuesday admitted it failed to protect children from pedophilic priests. Bishop John B. McCormack signed an agreement with New Hampshire state prosecutors, acknowledging “evidence likely to sustain a conviction of charge… against the diocese,” reported the Boston Globe. Under terms of the settlement, the Manchester diocese must abide by state child abuse reporting laws and immediately notify authorities of all suspicions, including incidents where the victim is no longer a minor, according to the Associated Press. In addition, the diocese is required to release internal documents collected during the investigation, undergo yearly compliance audits, and step up personnel training and education programs. State attorney general Philip T. McLaughlin said, “The agreement closes the door on an era of secrecy in the handling of allegations of sexual abuse lodged against priests, and it opens a new door to diocesan accountability and greater protection for children,” according to the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, continued to deny that other dioceses committed any wrongdoing. In a press release issued after the Manchester settlement, he stated, “The errors of specific persons, at specific times and places, which may have endangered children, cannot be attributed to the ‘church’ as a whole without overlooking the lives of integrity and good works of ministers of the church in our country throughout history.”
Last week, the Boston Archdiocese—under court order—publicly released over 2,000 of 11,000 internal documents detailing an undeniable, chronic problem with priest pedophilia over the last three decades. The files revealed a disturbing pattern of prioritizing the church’s reputation over the protection and safety of those vulnerable to priest pedophilia. This past Monday, 58 Boston-region clerics submitted a letter urging Cardinal Bernard Law’s resignation. The letter stated, “The events of recent months and, in particular, of these last few days, make it clear to us that your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston,” reported the Associated Press. Since Sunday, Law has been meeting with the Vatican—the purpose of his meeting has yet to be disclosed. Yesterday, Law resigned as chair of Catholic University’s Board of Trustees.
Media Resources: Associated Press 12/11/02, 12/10/02; Boston Globe 12/11/02; Reuters 12/10/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
10/20/2014 North Carolina Board of Elections Eliminates On-Campus Voting Sites Across the State - North Carolina will begin state-wide early voting on Thursday, and unlike the 2012 presidential election, many students across the state will have no polling place on-campus, making it more difficult for students to exercise their right to vote.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections recently eliminated the only on-campus voting location for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a campus with more than 20,000 students. . . .