According to an Associated Press story, Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, New Hampshire, while he was still an auxiliary in Boston, assured concerned parents that alleged molester Fr. Joseph Birmingham did not molest their son—despite the boy’s accusations and despite knowing that Birmingham was at that time in a treatment facility for molesting another boy.
The letter from McCormack was released to the public by alleged Birmingham victim Gary Bergeron who said more documents will come out if McCormack refuses to meet with victims. Fifty-three men are suing the archdiocese, claiming abuse by Birmingham.
One of the documents Bergeron released Tuesday was a letter to McCormack from Dr. William L. Webb Jr., president and chief psychiatrist at the Institute of Living in Connecticut.
In the letter, dated March 25, 1987, Webb discussed Birmingham. First, you had the debacle of the Dallas policy which everyone knew from the time of the vote was dead on arrival at the Vatican. But of course it shifted the blame from the US bishops to the Vatican for appearing to be more concerned for perverts than victims. Then there was that weird response to the Machester diocese’s settlement with the New Hampshire attorney general.
I’m still hoping for Archbishop Chaput. Sorry, Coloradans.