Catholic World News

Lawmaker calls bishop ‘pedophile pimp’

April 04, 2011

David Bettencourt, New Hampshire’s Republican house majority leader, has called Bishop John McCormack a “pedophile pimp who should have been led away from the State House in handcuffs with a raincoat over his head.”

Bettencourt made his remarks after Bishop McCormack expressed concern about “drastic impacts on the poor and most vulnerable in our state, those who are least able to cope with cuts in our State budget,” as well as the “restriction of the collective bargaining rights of public employees.”

Bishop McCormack was responsible for the handling of sex-abuse cases in the Boston archdiocese when he was secretary for priest personnel under Cardinal Bernard Law. Archdiocesan records, exposed in lawsuits against the Church, showed that he had provided support for priests who were known to have abused children. After becoming the Bishop of Manchester, he entered a plea-bargain agreement with the attorney general of New Hampshire, acknowledging that the evidence against diocesan leader was sufficient to warrant criminal prosecution.

Bettencourt later send a letter to Bishop McCormack acknowledging that his words had been “at best undiplomatic.” But he did not back away from his statement. The legislator said: “My comments reflected my feeling toward someone who, in his position, played such a prominent role in a terribly dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.” Bettencourt, who is Catholic, said that the bishop’s public criticism of budget cuts had triggered a visceral reaction:

But to be criticized for failing to protect those who are “vulnerable” by someone with your own history of protecting the vulnerable was more than I could stomach. It reignited all the feelings that I have worked to control in seeing that damage to the Church that this scandal created.

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2011 10:43 PM ET USA

    The expression is, "Call a spade, a spade."

  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2011 11:20 AM ET USA

    All truth is God's truth.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 05, 2011 7:11 AM ET USA

    Question is, is it true? If so, good for Bettencourt for bringing it to the light, and shame on parishioners who don't ask that question, is it true? If so, get him out and lock him up.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 04, 2011 11:48 PM ET USA

    When you ignore the damage Bishop John McCormack and Cardinal Bernard Law did by shielding those perverted priests, this is what you reap. McCormack had no business opening his mouth about anything. Bettencourt hit the nail on the head. He may be young, but he hasn't forgotten what a lot of the oldsters have forgotten.

  • Posted by: Jim.K - Apr. 04, 2011 9:55 PM ET USA


  • Posted by: opraem - Apr. 04, 2011 9:34 PM ET USA

    david b is spot on with his criticism of the bishop. he knowingly hid abusive clergy, the most notable, paul shanley, his 'buddy' from the seminary. until the bishop and his like minded enablers are gone the church will lack moral authority to discuss anything other than recipes in the public square.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 04, 2011 8:37 PM ET USA

    Enough reason for a whole generation of bishops to tender their resignations immediately. Look what the effect of their deeds has been on the credibility of the Church on moral issues.

  • Posted by: Franz10108953 - Apr. 04, 2011 3:23 PM ET USA

    Pedophile pimp?...that sounds about right...for a number of our bishops sadly enough. The tile is only lacking in that it distracts from the gay sex rings that some of them are tolerating or in which they are participants.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 04, 2011 12:26 PM ET USA

    I've always been of the opinion that if the shoe fits, wear it. In this case Mr. Bettencourt could have phrased it a little differently, and still got his point across. The 'enablers' need to be shown for what they are. Until that happens, the Church will be waring within itself and that is not a good thing. Truth be told, many of these folks need to move on down the road for the "Good and Faithful Servant" to do his job. Jesus Is Lord!