January 21, 2005

Judge urges resolution between state, diocese

The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER — The Diocese of Manchester and the state yesterday pressed to have the long-stalled audit called for in their 2002 agreement begin, but still argued yesterday in court over how it should be done.

The Roman Catholic diocese said the agreement calls for an audit that would verify it has complied with its child protection policies, training programs for staff and volunteers and child abuse reporting requirements.

The state maintained it cannot know if the diocese has complied with the agreement until a full and fair audit is done that measures the effectiveness of church policies and procedures.

“Effectiveness means, are the policies working?” Associate Attorney General Ann F. Larney said.

Diocesan attorney David A. Vicinanzo said the audit will show the diocese is in complete compliance with the agreement it struck with the state to avoid criminal prosecution.

“The church is an extremely safe place for children. There is no place that’s safer than the Catholic church,” he said after the hearing.

Posted by kshaw at January 21, 2005 07:12 PM