January 21, 2005

Another View: Is John McCormack still the bishop of Manchester?

The Union Leader

Guest Commentary

ACCORDING TO the regulations and customs of the Roman Catholic Church, only the Pope can designate or remove the title of Roman Catholic bishop. Since the Pope has designated John McCormack as bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, in the eyes of the Vatican and those who swear strict allegiance and absolute obedience to the Vatican, it is clear that John McCormack was and still is bishop and leader of New Hampshire Catholics.

What is less clear is how many outside the Vatican still consider John McCormack as a leader of New Hampshire Catholics. In recent decades, the title of Roman Catholic bishop has been recognized as a symbol of respect and moral leadership by both Catholics and non-Catholics in the Granite State. Citizens of New Hampshire looked to the bishops of Manchester to provide moral direction and unite the community in acts of charity and good will.

How many now look to John McCormack for moral leadership? In the last three years, hundreds have arisen in the streets, media and other public forums to demand that McCormack be held accountable for his role in hiding and protecting pedophile priests over a two- decade long period. Only a handful have publicly stood to support him, few if any in recent times as McCormack’s role in the clergy abuse horror has become clearer and clearer. With more than 300,000 Catholics in the state, are there not at least 10 who still consider McCormack to be an able moral leader? From public statements, it does not appear so.

Posted by kshaw at January 21, 2005 04:00 AM