NH namecalling: now, the bishop is labeled a "scumbag"

The era of civility continues.

Read on:

Conservative leaders began to step in Wednesday to try to quell the simmering controversy over House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt’s attack against Roman Catholic Bishop John McCormack as a “pedophile pimp.”

While Bettencourt has apologized for his comments and was planning to meet privately with McCormack today, other GOP lawmakers have picked up the assault.

Rep. Timothy Comerford, R-Fremont, said McCormack is a “corrupt scumbag in my book,” in comments he posted at the New Hampshire Union Leader website.

“This is one of those instances where no apology is necessary in my opinion,” he continued.

“Why should we kowtow to a corrupt hack of a Bishop?? I am usually very deferential and get along with people well, but the TRUTH is the TRUTH!! I don’t understand why any good Catholic would stand behind such a disgraceful man.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry, said he would consider seeking legislation to strip the Catholic Church in New Hampshire of its tax-exempt status and accused McCormack of breaking the law by speaking out against the House budget last week.

Manuse backed off later, saying he has no plans to seek such legislation and said his comments were “completely overblown.”

Since Bettencourt made the comment, GOP State Chairman Jack Kimball has been one of the only leading Republicans to condemn it outright.

On Wednesday, Kimball spokeswoman Christine Baratta said House GOP lawmakers need to come to their senses in the wake of these latest outbursts.

“Many of our state representatives seem to have lost sight of the bigger picture and what Republicans were elected to do,” Baratta said in a statement.

“We have a fiscal crisis in this state, and last week the House served the taxpayers well and passed a responsible budget. The Democrats’ addiction to spending caused this budget outrage and now instead of taking responsibility for their behavior, they have created a climate of fear to falsely scare people and to distract voters from the enormous budget deficit brought on by the failed leadership of John Lynch and the Democrats.”

Read the rest.

And:  the Catholic League has issued a response.


  1. This is mind-blowing immaturity and lack of professionalism on the part of the New Hampshire legislators. I hope the voters are paying close attention, and will demonstrate their disapproval in the voting booth at the next election.

  2. It is disgraceful that these public figures are being so uncivil and rude. However, it does point out the fact that the bishops have lost a great deal of their moral authority because of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. More than once, I have heard private citizens (most of them Catholic) ask why we should listen to anything the bishops say as a body or as individuals, since they were so wrong about clergy sexual abuse (moving priests from place to place, shielding them from prosecution, etc.). Bishop McCormack, unlike many of the other bishops, did not inherit these problems from the bishop who preceded him, but had a role in the scandal. Again, no excuse for the NH legislators’ behavior, but it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

  3. Scumbag. Isn’t that a euphemism for condom?

  4. Dcn Scott says:

    Perhaps this is a good reason to establish, or raise, the minimum age for holding elected public office in New Hampshire. I think Kathy hits the nail on the head: immaturity. I disagree that it brings up and important point. If these Catholic legislators feel that their fiscal decisions are being unfairly criticized by their shepherd-in-chief, then how about publicly addressing the specific criticisms levelled by Bp McCormack, seeking to justify them in terms of Catholic social teaching? Additionally, how about contacting their bishop directly and asking to speak with him, or telling him directly they think he is being unfair.

    In marriage, this is dysfunctional. A spouse get upset and starts to discuss what s/he is upset about, say, having too many things going on in the evening and is not home enough. In response, the other spouse says, “Oh yea, you leave your dirty clothes all over the bedroom.”

  5. House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt could have made his disgust against McCormack, who is admittedly a disgrace, and a horror of human being for deliberately putting known child rapists in positions where they could rape more children, in a manner in keeping with the dignity of his office.

  6. Veronica says:

    Must everyone be so crude nowadays? Can we not express ourselves without using vile terminology any longer?

    Respect and dignity – we hear so much about them and never have people exhibited less of both.

  7. Deacon Scott,

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I honestly believe that there is only a partial concern for the welfare of children in all of these critics.

    Dept. of Justice stats claim over 39 million victims of sex abuse living in America today. If all 11,000 allegations against Catholic clergy over the past 50 years were true (from the John Jay Study), that would mean that priests are responsible for 2/100 of 1% of the total number of victims.

    Even if the numbers are low, and in reality are five times higher, that would mean Catholic clergy are responsible for 1/10 0f 1% of the 39 million victims in America.

    Why do we suppose that nobody refers to the Dept. of Education Study by Carol Shakeshaft indicating that 9.6% of public school students will be victims of inappropriate sexual conduct, and that the major insurance companies dealing with protestant churches place the extent of the problem there at 2-3x that of the Catholics?

    I’ve detailed it all here:


    Placed in the context of the 39 million victims in America, Catholic clergy have contributed the least to this problem, while protestant churches have kept things hushed, and public schools have famously moved abusers around as well.

    I wish I could believe the outrage to be authentic, but when the nation harps on the causal agent of 2/100 of 1% of all the victims, and ignores the source of the remaining 99.98% of 39 million victims, one simply has to wonder…

  8. We are at war with Pricipalities and Powers, do you expect them to give quarter! Better brace yourself, the attack has just begun.

  9. Tax exempt Religions are not supposed to support a candidate or a political party (although Black Churches seem to be given a pass on this). However, they are allowed to support or protest individual issues or laws.

    There needs to be an all-out Catholic boycott of New Hampshire. This is one of the most bigotted Anti-Catholic states in the Union. Catholics were not even allowed to vote there until 1877. It is time to make a stand Catholics. Stop being wimps and cowering in the closet. The attacks will only get worse. You need to start fighting back. They are using the clergy sex scandal to justify their bigotry, and rob us of millions.

  10. Unbelievable immaturity, no question about it. But to my mind this also brings up an issue that exists here in the US – the seemingly greater identification that “conservative” Catholics seems to feel with Republican values than to the teachings of the Catholic Church. These people discount the teachings of the Church when they don’t match conservative ideology. So perhaps there’s an ingrained habit of discounting whatever and whomever in the Catholic Church that doesn’t agree with this ideology?

  11. @ Paula

    ” (moving priests from place to place, shielding them from prosecution, etc.) ”

    Just out of curiosity – do you have any specifics to share with us? You know, so many people (including Catholics) just spew these broad generalizations. Regurgitating whatever anti Catholic accusations they hear on the View or read in the NY Times or Boston Globe. Yes, some of that is true, in other cases Bishops followed the advice of psycahiatrists and tried to get treatement for these men, only to find out, they can’t be cured. Many of the cases only came to light 10 or 20 years after the fact, when no prosecution was possible. And unlike the thousands of victims of coaches and public school teachers who got nothing for their pain and suffering, those abused by priests have been given numerous apologies and huge financial settelements. Yet it is never enough. Catholics continue to be the object of scorn, by people who pretend to be so concerned about the wellfare of children. 13 year olds walk in to Abortion Clinics EVERY DAY in this country, and nobody even bothers to find out who got them pregnant.

  12. Robert Blanchette says:

    This is what happens when you elect two twenty-somethings into the legislature. I remember what I was like when I was in my twenties. I knew everything. I was also an arrogant, obnoxious, jerk. It took me until I was about thirty-five to realize how little I actually knew and how poorly I had treated other people. Let’s hope these two smarten up and the voters of NH realize that electing youngsters to do work that requires wisdom is a bad idea.

  13. naturgesetz says:

    Paula — Bishop McCormack actually did inherit the case in New Hampshire which has been cited against him. That priest has his affair with the young man beginning in 1988, well before Bp. McCormack arrived in NH.

  14. thomas tucker says:

    ALthough this kind of crude name-calling is not productive, I think one can certainly understand the level of animosity directed at McCormack given his role in shielding and shuffling abusive priests in Boston prior to his move to New Hampshire. If there were some evidence that he had been punished or demoted for his actions, instead of promoted to his own diocese, then perhaps people would be more forgiving. This remains a major problem with our heirarchy- few if any of the bishops who ignored or cover-up pedophile priests have actually been punished. They have all had golden parachutes, and that doesn’t sit well with many of the laity.

  15. Perhaps we should cut House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt at least a little slack. IF one is going to fly a bit off the handle, then to do so against someone so vile that he in fact contributed to the rape of children by those he knew to be child rapists is certainly understandable.

    One thing seems to be obvious, no one who is attacking Bettencourt’s comments has a child that was raped by a priest that McCormack while in Boston moved from parish to parish to parish without telling his flock that the priest he was exposing their children too already had been accused of child rape and molestation multiple times in multiple parishes.

  16. Bill Granger says:

    If the Bishop was advocating lassaiz faire capitalism and other heartless economic schemes, the Goppers would love him.

    If the Bishop advocated gay marriage and abortion on demand, the Donkeys would love him.

    Whatever the Bishop has done, he is still a representative of the church, speaking for the church, about the church’s social teachings.

    The lesson I take away from this is that as they hated Him, so shall they hate His church.

    We need a third party based on the soical doctrine of the church. A pox on BOTH parties!

  17. It is a shame that Catholics fight with each other. If Bishops were not misled by their progressive modernist staff’s they would not criticize political leaders in matters they obviously don’t understand. It is a shame that a Prince of the Church who was obviously mislead by secular advisors in the sex abuse tragedy (The psychologists made me do it!) has not learned a lesson. Obviously I wasn’t there and under the same pressures. Catholic Clergy need to set their sites on moral issues like abortion and gay marriage and only get involved in economic policy when it effects the “poorest of the poor.”
    Too many of our Bishops are being hoodwinked by the left to support social policy that will reduce us all to the “poorest of the poor.” Once again the Catholic League is ignoring real anti-catholic threats and going after a paper tiger.

  18. Don from NH says:

    I dont understand why everyone is so upset. Every election time our Bishops come out of the wood work and instruct us on how we are to vote. When it is limited to the subject of abortion only, then all the issues that are now surfacing that effects the welfare of the average person and the weakest of citizens comes to light.

    Republicans do not stand for the average person, if they did, Bishop Mc Cormack would not have had to attend that hearing this past week to defend the heartless cuts that are proposed by Republicans.

    Republicans do not care about pro-life they throughly enjoy the argument for the purpose of keeping the voter divided and conquered. Our Supreme Court is very conservative and Republican, If the Republican Supreme Court is concerned about Pro-Life why then have they not retaken up the issue of Roe v. Wade. Nothing is stopping them, so what is the problem??????

    As Catholics we take one step forward when we consider pro-life issues but take 4 steps backward when we vote for a Republican.

    You would have thought that the Republican Legislators would have treated the Bishop with dignity and respect, it is because of the Bishop and Catholics of NH that these Republican Legislators are in office in the first place.

    We get what you vote for.

    Lets wake up and look at the whole picture the next time we vote.

  19. No less than a Doctor of the Church stated: “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops.” i.e. Princes of the Church. Labeling McCormack a “pedophile pimp”, while beneath the dignity of the House Leader to utter during official proceedings, is not void of accuracy. And suffering the ridicule he has brought on himself in this life by contributing to the raping of his parishioner’s children, could very well be God’s way of letting him know that he stands at very great risk of having his own skull tread under foot in Hell by those same child rapists he loosed on God’s little ones.

  20. To Don from NH,

    If the choice is between someone who supports cutting taxes, and someone who supports cutting the throats of unborn children, I will take my chances before the Judgement Throne with the former.

  21. David West says:

    Saying that there is a cover up amongst the Bishops is just part of the cover up. When the boy comes in to tell his parents that he was molested by the man next door and is slapped in his face and told to stop lying that is part of the cover up. By claiming there was a cover up and diverting all our attention to the Catholic Bishops (not even the pedophile priest who were not held to same degree of culpability in part because they, like the Bishops position on pedophilia years ago, are still be many perceived to be too sick to control themselves) we allow pedophiles who are not of the cloth to attack children in even greater obscurity. If the Bishops are responsible for a cover up in the Church who is responsible for the cover ups outside the Church?

  22. Don from NH says:


    So what you are saying is I dont care about the people and the services they need, as long as I get my tax cut.

  23. I’m saying that no Catholic (or any decent human being for that matter) can in any way support the cold blooded barbaric merciless slaughter of tens, even hundreds, of millions of unborn children, period.
    The idea that supporting people or parties that then support torturing children to death in the womb, is justifiable if they also happen to be against tax cuts, or for more government spending, is an ideology spat out of the same maggot infested, excrement encrusted, corner of Hell that spat out Nazism upon the world.

  24. thomas tucker says:

    Bill- that thei bishop is still a representativee of the Church is exactly the problem now. He should not be. Adn the good Catholics of NH should have protested, and refused to accept him as their shepherd. We as lay people have rights too, and one of them should be the right to refuse to accept as bishop someone who has so egregiously and callously allowed others to harm the innocent.

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