MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The head of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire is denying allegations that he committed sexual abuse while serving as a priest in New York in the 1980s. A lawyer for Bishop Peter Libasci of the Diocese of Manchester on Saturday issued a statement saying the bishop will “vigorously defend” against the accusations. A lawsuit filed July 14 in a New York state court accuses Libasci of abusing a male youth on numerous occasions while he was a pastor in Deer Park, New York. A national group that supports victims of clergy sexual abuse said Saturday that it’s “very concerned” Libasci has not stepped aside.
Photo: FILE— In this Dec. 8, 2011 file photo, Bishop Peter Libasci, center, arrives at the Cathedral of St. Joseph for his Installation service as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, in Manchester, N.H. A lawsuit is accusing the head of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire of sexually abusing a teenager when he was a priest in New York. Bishop Libasci is accused in the lawsuit of abusing the unidentified youngster, who was 12- or 13-years-old at the time, on numerous occasions in 1983 and 1984. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File