‘Pedophile pimp’ comment sparks controversy

After a leading New Hampshire politician referred to Manchester Bishop John McCormack as “a pedophile pimp,” Gov. John Lynch called for House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt to retract his comments.

The Union Leader has the story:

“These comments have no place in the public discourse, and the people of New Hampshire have a right to expect a higher level of civility and judgment from their elected officials,” Lynch said Saturday. “I would urge the majority leader to retract his comments.”

Bettencourt, a Salem Republican, posted comments late Thursday night about McCormack after he spoke at a rally earlier that day criticizing the House two-year budget proposal.

McCormack is the leader of New Hampshire’s 290,000 Catholics. He told a crowd estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000 people that the budget plan Republicans passed neglects society’s obligation to care for the poor and vulnerable.

Bettencourt Friday stood by his statement although other Republican leaders either disagreed with his statement or said he should have chosen his words more carefully.

Diocese of Manchester spokesman Kevin Donovan said Bettencourt’s remarks are false and defamatory, meant to distract people from the budget issues.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.