The bishop pimps?

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Bettencourt.jpgMcCormack.jpgPardon me while my head explodes. On Thursday, the 75-year-old Catholic bishop of Manchester, NH, John B. McCormack, turned up at a rally at the statehouse in Concord to decry proposed budget cuts. “We urge the legislature and the governor to place the poor, the unemployed, and our most vulnerable citizens first,” he said. Whereupon, on Friday, the 27-year-old House majority leader, D.J. Bettencourt (R.-Salem), a member of Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish, took to his Facebook page to suggest that Bishop McCormack was in no position to advocate on behalf of the least among us:

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.

Whoa! To be sure McCormack was one of Cardinal Law’s henchmen in Boston, serving from 1984 until 1994 as his Secretary for Ministerial Personnel–which made him the point person for dealing with priests charged with sexual abuse. Two months ago, his opposite number in Philadelphia, William Lynn, became the first high-ranking church official to be criminally charged for transferring accused pedophiles to other parishes. But by the time the Boston scandal broke, McCormack was safely ensconced in the Granite State. New Hampshire Voice of the Faithful’s Carolyn Disco acknowledged that Bettencourt had a point: “the lack of credibility of Bishop John McCormack’s voice in the state.” Such are the wages of scandal in New England.

Still, suggesting that McCormack had been in the business of procuring altar boys for priests was over the top, and the remark has elicited calls for Bettencourt to resign his position from Democrats and distancing from Republicans. For his part, the majority leader is unrepentant: “Are the words harsh? Sure, they’re harsh. But they
are deserving, given this man’s role in a very dark period in the
church’s history.”

Personally, I’m waiting for Bill Donohue to discharge one of his “dissident Catholic” broadsides at Rep. Bettencourt. But because the good doctor keeps his guns trained to the left, I’m not holding my breath.

  • mike ference

    War tactics should be applied to Philadelphia Archdiocese
    By Mike Ference
    Every day brings new evidence that we no longer live in a civilized and principled society. The worst part, it usually concerns another case of sexual misconduct involving a Catholic priest, young children and a church hierarchy that helped to cover up the case.
    The recent release of information by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests certainly indicates new measures need to be taken to protect innocent children (God’s most precious commodity) from dysfunctional sex freaks within the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
    Taken from the third grand jury investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney:
    Regarding archdiocesan priorities, the jurors found that “the protection of the church from ‘scandal’ (was) more important that the protection of children from predators” (p. 3) and that “Cardinal Bevilacqua’s true priority was the avoidance of scandal” (p. 14).
    Regarding archdiocesan motives, the jurors found that church officials “gave little or no weight to the protection of children” (p.10)
    Regarding archdiocesan practices, the jurors found that church officials “knowingly transferred priest who had been credibly accused of molesting children to new assignments there they retained access to and control over children” (p. 2)
    Regarding criminal prosecution, the jurors found that,” in nearly all cases,” the archdiocese did not report (known or suspected abuse) to law enforcement officials.” (p. 3).”
    And while Bevilacqua, Rigali and all the other red hats still deny heinous crimes and cover ups were ever committed; they still expect their weekly bounty of donations. But as more and more cases of abuse — and cover-up — come to light, one begins to wonder whether catholic church hierarchy should be considered any more trustworthy than, say, Saddam Hussein.
    So — what should be done now that we know it’s a pattern of terror orchestrated by the Catholic Church and repeated everywhere the dysfunctional sex freaks have established a church, school, hospital or other institution. Given the level of wreckage and anguish caused in the lives of so many people, it seems appropriate to look to the war on terror for a model strategy.
    A first prong of attack at the Philadelphia archdiocese might involve a Special Forces unit made up of highly skilled and trained military personnel capable of tracking down and obtaining confessions from any current or former priests accused of acts of sexual abuse against children. If rights are violated, if military personnel sometimes go a little too far, so be it. The Philadelphia Archdiocese had ample opportunity to fess up and repent. Those incapable of civilized behavior shouldn’t expect the rights and privileges of civilization.
    A deck of cards can be created to help identify hard-to-find priests as well as the disgraceful church leaders who permitted, and in essence, condoned the sexual abuse of young children. Photos of the most deviant and reprehensible church officials accompanied by a list of their offenses will encourage us all to do our patriotic duty in helping the authorities track down suspected priest-terrorists or at least be able to identify the culprits as they come and go freely because their sins where covered up and the time to criminally prosecute has expired.
    Another option would be to divide the Pennsylvania into territories. A color-code warning system would be established, alerting parents about abusive priests being transferred into their respective regions. Depending on the designated color for a particular region, parents would know whether their children should serve at Mass, go on field trips, or even attend Catholic school that day.
    To aid this unique war on terror, a pool of money should be collected, not involuntarily from taxpayers, but voluntarily from those decent human beings who believe crimes committed against our children are sins that God takes very seriously. Some of the funds raised could then be turned into outrageously tempting reward sums for information leading to the capture of our targeted criminals. Once the rogue clerics have been imprisoned and forced to talk, I recommend that their confessions be given to someone like Steven Spielberg or George Romero. Hollywood writers and producers could create a blockbuster movie like Roots or Schindler’s List to serve as a bitter reminder that these crimes should never again be permitted to occur. Tom Savini could be hired to recreate the horror on the faces of child actors chosen to play parts.
    Proceeds from the movie could go to victims of abuse and their families. And no matter how old the crime, compensation would be available. There should be no statute of limitations when the rights of children have been violated by those who lived much of their adult lives perched on a pedestal heightened by the trust of innocent and vulnerable believers. In fact, I would extend compensation to the second and perhaps even third generation of sufferers. It would certainly include siblings denied the experience of growing up with a brother or sister untraumatized by such abuse. And since crimes of abuse tend to echo, it would extend to the victims of the victims as well.
    If all else fails, is it any less rational to declare war on the Philadelphia as part of a war on child abuse than it was to declare war on Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al-Qaeda and apparently had no weapons of mass destruction) as part of a war on terror? How many innocent children have been verifiably lost to this menace — and how many more will be lost if we don’t make a preemptive strike?
    As horrific as sexual abuse by priests may be, the perpetrators might merit a more forgiving place if only their superiors had the courage to do the right thing. For a few, counseling and close supervision might have been enough to prevent future abuses. Others clearly required something more intensive — a mental hospital or a prison.
    But repeated abuse, as well as willfully hiding the crimes and the criminals — as far as I can see, this brings us much closer to the realm of mortal sin. And the sinners include not just the church hierarchy, but also attorneys who ill-advised parents not to buck the system and take on the Philadelphia Archdiocese, or may even have provided inside information to thwart legitimate cases against the church, law enforcement officials who may have thought it best to warn church officials of pending investigations, and janitors, housekeepers, teachers, and employees of the Catholic Church who kept silent because of concerns about a paycheck, a 401K, a pension, or a fear of standing up to church authorities. God has a place for everyone — and if you abuse children or protect the abusers of children, we can only hope that your place is called hell.

  • JeannieGuzman

    In addition to a pic of Cardinal Rigali in his full ecclesiastical regalia, why not put the mugs of Pedophile Priests, who have been characterized as “retired” or “Missing in Action,” on milk cartons (question mark broken). That way, every child, as well as their parents, will be able to see them at the breakfast table, and their pictures would create the conditions for a valuable “Learning experience,” for both the parents and the innocent minors. Pedophiles as well as those who orchestrated the coverups should be shamed in public.

  • Maude Going

    I would imagine that any man who transfers pedophile priests from one parish to another, who allows children to be in the pedophile’s path, can rightly be called a pedophile pimp. Actually, it seems an apt name for all bishops who protect pedophile priests. And just think of all those jesuits who kept passing Rev. Donald McGuire around…and those Salesians with all their pedophile priests…and the Oblates, the Franciscans, etc. etc., etc..
    Gosh, just think how long the list is for these so-called bishops and priests who are, in fact, pedophile pimps. Question: Will the bishops and cardinals, and religious superiors who are NOT pedophile pimps please stand up?

  • Carolyn Disco

    The latest: Bettencourt sends conciliatory statement to the bishop
    New Hampshire House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt sent a letter to Bishop John McCormack of the Manchester Catholic Diocese on Saturday in which he appeared to dial back his rhetoric while at the same time underscoring his point of view that McCormack is unfit to serve in his role.
    Bishop McCormack,

  • Ginny Hoehne

    Perhaps House Leader Bettencourt’s comment of pedophile pimp is calling a spade a spade and is exactly what needs to be said to wake some people up. McCormick’s years as henchman for Law is enough to put him in that category. The authoritarian, elitist, self imposed attitude of many if not most of the hierarchs is no reason to respect, or worse pay homage to them. Remember, respect is earned, not deserved. If anyone should be respected it’s those who have suffered and survived horrific sexual abuse by clergy.