“Edward Arsenault’s letter to the diocese and former associates” & related articles

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The Concord Monitor

EDWARD J. ARSENAULT

February 3, 2014

Dear friends,

On June 2, 1991, I was entrusted with representing the Lord Jesus as a priest of the Diocese of Manchester. Although I have sought to do so faithfully and well, I not only failed to do what is right, I also committed crimes in the exercise of my responsibilities as a priest and a collaborator in the work of the Catholic Church in New Hampshire.

I am truly and sincerely sorry for what I did and I apologize to the many who have been harmed by my actions.

First, I have sought forgiveness from God. Thanks to the gifts of grace and the pastoral care of priests, family and friends, I have experienced this forgiveness in a profound and gracious way.

Second, I apologize to the prior and current Bishops of Manchester and to my colleagues in diocesan ministries over many years. Many of these persons have already supported me despite my failings and crimes – true experiences of Christ for me. I was always in their debt for our work together, and now, more so, for their mercy.

Third, I apologize to the priests of New Hampshire. I have failed the bond of our fraternity and I ask your forgiveness. Many priests and religious sisters — from New Hampshire and elsewhere — have reached out in love and support these last several months. This has sustained me in ways that words cannot express.

Fourth, I seek forgiveness from my family and many friends. Their unconditional love and support, and their frequent reminders to me of who I am and of the good that I have done, has helped me to keep perspective during the last year.

Finally, I apologize to the people of New Hampshire, especially the Catholic community, for the harm this has caused them. I broke the law and violated the trust of others. I am prepared to accept the consequences for having done so, to make restitution and to face the penalty for having committed these crimes.

My decision to write to you now is because I have been constrained by the process that has unfolded these last several months. Today certain aspects of what transpired in the past will be made public. I wanted to write to you to express my remorse and sorrow, to ask your forgiveness and to express my resolve to face the consequences of my wrongs with the strength of my convictions.

I am confident in God’s love and forgiveness and have experienced both already from many of you. This does not exclude the consequences that I face. May mercy and justice meet, and may God’s Spirit bind us together.

Ed

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Former NH diocese official, head of clergy treatment center, to plead guilty to theft

Daily Journal

First Posted: February 03, 2014 – 3:13 pm
Last Updated: February 03, 2014 – 3:16 pm

By HOLLY RAMER  Associated Press

CONCORD, New Hampshire — The former leader of one of the nation’s top clergy treatment centers plans to plead guilty in New Hampshire to stealing at least $4,500 from a hospital, a deceased priest’s estate and the state’s Roman Catholic Bishop, prosecutors said Monday.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009 before becoming president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland in 2009. He resigned from that job in May when authorities said they were investigating allegations involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

The attorney general’s office said Monday that Arsenault had waived indictment and will plead guilty to three felony theft charges involving the bishop, the estate of a Manchester priest who died in 2010, and Manchester’s Catholic Medical Center, where Arsenault had done consulting work.

The plea agreement calls for Arsenault to be sentenced to two consecutive sentences of 4-10 years in prison, with two years suspended from each because of his extensive cooperation. It will be considered by a judge at an April 23 hearing.

Arsenault’s lawyer, Cathy Green, declined to comment. Officials with the diocese and the hospital also declined to comment on the details of the allegations, and prosecutors provided little information other than saying each theft exceeded $1,500 and providing a timeframe for the thefts.

They said Arsenault plans to plead guilty to stealing from the bishop between 2005 and 2013, from the hospital between 2009 and 2010 and from the estate of Msgr. John Molan between 2010 and 2012.

The investigation does not involve Saint Luke Institute, a prominent education and counseling center based in Silver Spring, Maryland, with sites in other parts of the U.S. and in Britain. The center treats priests with a range of mental illnesses and has played a key role in addressing the problem of sexually abusive clergy.

In New Hampshire, Arsenault had been former Bishop John McCormack’s top lieutenant, handling the clergy sexual abuse crisis and was responsible for the church’s new child protection policies

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Former president of St. Luke Institute to serve 4-year prison term for theft

Catholic World News

CWN – February 03, 2014

A former chancellor of the Manchester, New Hampshire diocese, who last year resigned from his post as president of the St. Luke Institute, has been sentenced to a 4-year prison term after pleading guilty to theft charges.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault admitted to stealing funds from the Manchester diocese, from the estate of a fellow priest, and from a hospital where he had served on the board. Under a plea-bargaining agreement he will serve 4 years in a New Hampshire prison.

As chancellor of the New Hampshire diocese, Msgr. Arsenault was the top aid to Bishop John McCormack at the height of the sex-abuse scandal. Later he become the chief executive of the St. Luke Institute, the Maryland facility that has treated many priests charged with sexual abuse. He resigned from that post when it was made public that he was the focus on an investigation prompted by reports of financial misconduct and an inappropriate relationship with another adult.

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Former Top Official in NH Catholic Church Indicted

Edward J. Arsenault III has agreed to plead guilty and is expected to serve prison time.

The Concord Patch

February 03, 2014 at 01:48 PM

Edward J. Arsenault III. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edward J. Arsenault III. Source: Wikimedia Commons

1 Response to “Edward Arsenault’s letter to the diocese and former associates” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Given that I am presently working on putting together something on the Father Joe LeClair plea deal of last week, and given the public interest in the outcome of those particular charges of theft and fraud, I decided to post the above.

    Note that in his letter of apology Msgr. Arsenault never once uses the word “sin.” He’s a priest for goodness sake. A strange oversight? I think it is.

    Note too that since 2009 the Monsignor has been President and CEO of St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland – and pulling in a paltry priestly salary of $170,000/yr. Prior to that he was Chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester. In 2002 it was he who reviewed allegations of clerical sex abuse in the diocese. According to another article “Mgr. Arsenault chaired the board of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group formed to combat the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. In that position, he helped supervise the development of the VIRTUS program and the ‘Protecting God’s Children’ safe environment program in use in dioceses across the U.S.,…”

    I see no further reports on the allegations that Monsignor Arsenault had engaged in an “inappropriate adult relationship.” Does anyone know what became of that? or, is it still under investigation?

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