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N.H. Catholics Demand Bishops Resign Over Sex-Abuse Scandal

Sep 22, 2003 | AP

More than 100 protesters outside St. Joseph's Cathedral on Sunday called on fellow Roman Catholics to oust two New Hampshire bishops for their roles in the priest sex scandal.

Victims of pedophile priests and groups seeking change within the church rallied outside Bishop John McCormack's parish church for two hours before and during a morning Mass.

Jim Sacco, 48, of Amherst, who received a cash settlement from the church for his abuse claims against convicted former priest John Geoghan, called clergy sexual abuse "domestic terrorism against children." Geoghan was killed by another inmate in a Massachusetts prison last month.

"I am a victim of John Geoghan. I am also a victim of his supervisors, the bishops and cardinals, the Vatican, and every man and woman who conspired to cover up sexual abuse against children," Sacco said.

McCormack has been accused in civil lawsuits of helping move abusive priests from parish to parish while serving as a top aide to Cardinal Bernard Law in the Archdiocese of Boston. Law stepped down last December, amid similar accusations.

Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian has been accused of lying about previous sexual misconduct by the Rev. Roger Fortier to corrections officials conducting a presentencing investigation after Fortier was convicted.

While the groups have held protests outside St. Joseph's before, this was the largest to date, drawing victims from as far away as Kentucky and Colorado.

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