March 31, 2006

Pornography problems described

Concord Monitor

Monitor staff

March 31. 2006 8:00AM

Although a state audit of the Diocese of Manchester uncovered no unreported cases of sexual abuse, auditors revealed a case of a priest who might have used a parish computer to access child pornography.

The auditing firm KPMG reviewed the diocese's compliance with the terms of a 2002 agreement that spared the New Hampshire Catholic Church from criminal charges. In reviewing the screening and training of priests, KPMG identified one priest who used a parish computer to visit pornographic websites - and to possibly access child pornography - despite medical orders that he be kept away from computers because of past behavior, the audit said.

As a result of the audit, diocese officials came forward to the state in late June 2005 about the priest's behavior, said Will Delker, a senior assistant attorney general.

The state is investigating whether the reporting delay violated state law about reporting child abuse or the terms of the 2002 agreement, which holds the church to stricter terms, Delker said.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 07:47 AM