Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, NH, is trying to salvage his standing among Catholics in his diocese by telling them to consider all that he’s done for them, rather than just focus on what he did wrong in the Archdiocese of Boston. Gee, how many good works does it take to counterbalance the evil of allowing perverts to prowl the pews? The defense sounds a lot like “the ends justifies the means.”
An interesting mention is made in the article of the incident when the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester tried to merge with Elliot Hospital, a secular institution. A ruckus was raised by Catholics because the merger would have allowed morally objectionable medical procedures at the Elliot campus, even though the two institutions had merged. It seems to me that all McCormack did was salvage the remains of a bad situation he should have prevented in the first place.
Even among all the defense of McCormack, there’s one niggling problem: Not all of McCormack’s bad deeds occured before he came from Massachusetts. As I’ve chronicled here in the past, McCormack assigned a homosexual priest to a parish last summer without informing parishioners that the priest had had a years-long sexual relationship with a teen who was 18 at the start. Of course, that could only be the tip of the iceberg. Despite the praise for McCormack in New Hampshire, there hasn’t been a document dump in the diocese like there has been in Boston. We’ll see if the tune changes in February when the state attorney general releases 10,000 pages of diocesan files.
The defense of McCormack sounds a lot like what we were hearing about Cardinal Law a year ago. But with revelation after revelation, it didn’t take long for people to realize that you can’t defend the indefensible and that any real resolution could not include the sitting prelate.