New Hampshire bishop charged with abusing teenager – NBC Boston


A lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the head of the New Hampshire Roman Catholic Church of sexually abusing decades ago while serving as a priest in New York City.

In a July 14 lawsuit filed in the Suffolk County State Supreme Court, Bishop Peter Libasci of the Diocese of Manchester is accused of repeatedly abusing a young man in 1983 and 1984 The abuse resulted in “physical, psychological and emotional injuries.” said the costume.

The diocese said in a statement that it was aware of the trial and that the case had been reported to civil authorities. Libasci’s status remains unchanged, he said.

“Because this is an ongoing matter and out of respect for those involved, the diocese will not provide additional information at this time but will provide updates when we are able to do so,” indicates the press release.

The lawsuit also named as defendants the Roman Catholic Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius and the School of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Deer Park, New York, where Libasci was pastor. The youngster, who was 12 or 13 at the time, was a student at the school, which this year merged with another school to become the Catholic School of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The lawsuit also named Sisters of St. Joseph, who was responsible for the activities at the school. He did not return calls seeking comment.

The Rockville Center Diocese, which includes Saints Cyril, said it has notified the Vatican of the trial since the allegations involve a current diocesan bishop. He also reported the case to the Suffolk County District Attorney.

“The Diocese of Rockville Center remains committed to the continued work of creating a safe environment in the church,” the diocese said in a statement.

The Diocese of Rockville Center, which encompasses much of Long Island and 1.4 million Catholics, filed for bankruptcy last year after the state suspended the statute of limitations for prosecutions for sexual abuse by men. priests. More than 200 lawsuits have been filed against the diocese since the passage in 2019 of a New York law that gives victims the right to sue decades-long sexual abuse by clergy, teachers and d ‘other adults.

The allegations against Libasci come less than two years after the Diocese of Manchester launched a public effort to tackle past abuses. In 2019, he released the names of 73 priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children in what he called an effort to take responsibility for abuse that dates back to 1950. Most priests named are deceased, and others either. left the ministry or were banished from the public ministry as priests.

At the time, Libasci apologized for the abuse and said he prayed daily for victims to find healing and that “we never allow such darkness to enter our church again.”

Before Libasci was appointed 10th Bishop of Manchester by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011, the Diocese of Manchester was also criticized for the way it handled allegations of sexual abuse.

In a 2002 agreement, the state of New Hampshire agreed not to sue the diocese as an institution or any individual for their previous handling of allegations of sexual abuse involving members of the clergy. County prosecutors can still initiate individual lawsuits.

In return, the diocese agreed to adopt strict new child protection policies, admit its actions harmed children and open up to a series of audits. The new policies included reporting all allegations to the attorney general’s office and removing church staff accused of their work.

In 2009, after the last check, the attorney general’s office said the diocese had improved its guarantees for children. But he recommended that the diocese step up its background checks and take other steps.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who claim to be victims of sexual assault unless they consent to be publicly identified.

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