Father McCormick, recently arrested for soliciting a prostitute, had an ugly confrontation with a victim and frequent guest of this site. From Victim4Justice’s comment on Catholics4Change.com last Spring:
“On a recent Sunday, myself and a few other people set up shop outside of St. Timothy’s Church in Northeast Philly, where Fr. Thomas Rooney was one of the twenty-one priests recently removed from active ministry for credible allegations of abuse. We stood on the pavement beneath the stairs of the church in an effort to warn parishioners and the neighborhood of a known suspected pedophile priest.
After Mass, Father Patrick McCormick came through the doors of the church and walked down the steps, looking like an Irish punk, after his 12-pack of beer. Father McCormick pointed in my direction and asked, “What are you doing in front of my church?” I said, “We are here to protect children. Father Thomas Rooney was recently placed on administrative leave for allegations of abusing minors. We are here to protect children!” With that answer, Father Patrick McCormick pointed at me and told me, “You just shut up!” Being that it is that I can’t stand being told what to do, especially by a man who wears the same type of clothes as a priest who abused me wore, I went nuts. I started screaming at him about my being silent for 20 years, and I’m going to use my voice and hope to overpower his. He claimed, while parishioners were still milling around the area of the church, in a loud voice “Father Rooney has been exonerated from any wrongdoing, as have the other 20 priests.” This is entirely untrue, and when I called Fr. McCormick a liar, he came down off the church steps, onto the pavement, and bumped me chest-to-chest. He pointed directly at me and said, “You need to forgive!” Well, not true again. I said, “You should be down on your *bleeping* hands and *bleeping* knees begging for my forgiveness.”
I could’ve filed assault charges against Father Patrick McCormick for bumping me. I could’ve filed charges for his threatening me. Instead, after the heated exchange, I walked away and I went home. For so long now, I have been fighting this issue of sexual abuse inside and outside of the walls of the Catholic Church. The next morning, I sat in front of my computer and cried for a 1⁄2-hour. Everything had just gotten to me, and the more I thought of how Father McCormick and other Catholic parishioners treated me the day before, the more I thought about the abuse I suffered as a child, by another “man of God.” I thought about everything that I’ve been called in the last 2 years, for trying to protect children and to seek justice for victims. It was a load to bear.”
218 thoughts on “Recently Arrested Father McCormick Confronted Victim Last Year”
Sorry for this mis-treatment by so called priests and parishoners. And, thank you for trying to protect children and seeking justice for victims. Like you, I have been pushed and shoved and yelled at both in front of the Cathedral in Philly and also Allentown, as well as at Annunciation Church in S. Philly. As far as I was concerned, like you, it was about justice for the victims. These kool-aid drinking and so called church going persons are nothing more than bullies and creeps.
First they bully the most vulnerable – the children. That’s after they groom them and tell them how “special” they are. Then they bully women (The Church is all-male hierarchical, after all) and treat women as though they are nothing more than the sum of their wombs. Where are the other men in The Church? Why are they not confronting the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, even during services if need be, saying that the brothers, fathers, sons, spouses and grandfather’s of The Church will not sit by any longer and permit the hierarchy to humiliate and vilify the women in their lives. “Our women gave birth to all of us and we will not countenance this any longer.” Shame the hierarchy, if any vestage of shame they have left in their arrogance and power. Do it again the following Sunday. IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WOMEN IN OUR LIVES.
Yup Reid, I hate to admit it, but old-fashioned, repressed, voices in my head have always had me asking just that…. While Catholic women are not exempt from blame, —Where the heck were the Catholic “real men” when they were needed to defend their own, and even avenge these acts for their children?!
Many of the victims’ fathers knew at some point that their kids were molested….What restrained them from doing physical harm to the perps? How did the church make our forefathers into such “girly men”? (i’m sorry!)
An Irish, great uncle of mine, was a devout Cath. and a prominent IRA gun runner- type in Philly esp. during the Northern IRE civil unrest of the 60’s and 70’s. One Sunday, he got fed up with listening to the priest’s sermon denouncing his cause. He just stood up in the middle of it and walked right out of Mass –and making quite a stink as he left! I remember how radical it seemed at the time…I see it differently now.
Crystal, you are a very effective ‘piece of work’. Plus you make me laugh, on occasion.
I wish I thought you and Reid’s suggestions/thoughts would come true. Men would speak up, things would change, in the Church.
But, actually I think it’s going to be ‘independent soccer moms,’ nationwide, who will ‘remember in November.’
Crystal, as a man, I admit you are right and apologize to all survivors and their families. But it is not too late for us men to change.
I wrote about this two days ago in an NCR comment.
I think I would have liked you great uncle, who, like my Irish parents of the same era, must have lived much of his life observing pervasive clerical oppression up close and personal.
Please read my NCR comment, “Awake Men, For God’s Sake!”. readily accessible by clicking on at:
Jerry your piece in the NCR was just fine, and timely.
But I wanted to get a better handle on Gina. The NYTimes article I googled said she had been a prosecutor of sex crimes for the DA’s office, was hired by Rigali in Spring 2011. She herself said she had access to all AD files, and would work expeditiously to evaluate the priests whom the Grand Jury was concerned about.
The AB state, not long after his arrival, said that the situation of ‘suspended priests’ would be resolved “soon” (?).
That was 2011.
Now, we are in 2012, with a world attention grabbing set of trials, in PA, and no resolution of the ‘suspended priest’ situation. If priests were found by Gina to be innocent…it would seem only fair to reinstate them. If the allegations were well founded, then that needs to be reported.
But I think ‘deathly silence’ on this matter merely adds to the notion of hierarchical opaqueness, and serves no one very well.
Joan, thanks for the NCR compliment.
As to Gina Smith, she is forbidden by legal ethics from speaking out without the prior express authorization of her client, Chaput, who is becoming a master at ducking disclosure. We can only infer by the delays that what she uncovered so far, at least about some of the 21 priests, is not pretty.
Remember, Rigali originally had 35 priests on the “suspected” list and cut it down to 21 priests, presumably those with more credible abuse accusations against them. He likely was trying to head off Seth Williams from investigating the 21 priests, and in that Rigali and Chaput appear to have succeeded.
Having a lawyer who is paid by the Philly AD conducting the investigation raises the same conflicts and independence questions the AD’s Abuse Review Board raised, and we saw how badly it performed.
Gina may be experienced and thorough, but she still takes her orders from Chaput.
I don’t expect Gina would withdraw from the case, the Philly AD is a source of a lot of legal business for amny Philly lawyers. I wiould withdraw, and have in a comparable situation, but few lawyers would. I paid a heavt price, but have no regrets.
Jerry Slevin– I loved your NCR comment! I like to get links to anything on this topic.
But I’ll add this thought about my gun-running uncle… He was a fighter for sure… but don’t admire him…His way of fighting, — those weapons he smuggled over to Ulster, ended up killing people – some of them were probably kids. .. You’ve chosen to use your brain and a pen to fight for innocent people, and that is more humane and far more powerful in the long run.
Joan- lol! true…Aint nobody keeping a soccer mom down.- and aint nobody mess’n with her kids either.
Susan, again thank you for this reflection from a victim who writes on this blog. It is so tragic to hear how “good catholics” continue to blame victims and exonerate clergy who are predators. Last year, 2011, on Ash Wednesday, I joined a group of VOTF and SNAP members at the Cathedral where we stood silently, with pictures of victims and handing our papers with simply information. People entering and then leaving the cathedral with ashes clearly on their foreheads, told us to get away. Not to spoil their special religious event. Not to protest during this holy season. One “gentleman” dressed in a beautiful overcoat actually came back from the door and threatened one our our friends who just stood there in the spirit of Ghandi and MLK and took the abuse. On another Sunday, we went to Annunciation Church in south Philly and we did the same “action”, peacefully demonstrating since Cardinal Rigali was coming to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the parissh. Again, if looks could kill, we were stared down and sneered at as parishoners entered the Church. One of our group whose son had been abused was standing with a sign when a car drove up and the driver jumped out to confront this father. I could see this would be a problem and stepped in to defelct the issue from the father and luckily the driver calmed a bit and then drove off. So if people who read this blog can understand that so many people simply support the institution and, as such, predators and those who cover up, then we recognize that this challenge to the commitment for justice is going to be a terrible climb up a treacherous mountain. I am so sympathetic to your blogger who was able to attempt to challenge the status quo. As to the pastor, he also suffers from the captivity of the church which imposes celibacy, not as a real spiritual growth process, but as clear attempt to control the lives of the ministers in this community of faith. This morning, I was reflecting on this issue of celibacy and reflecting on a retreat this year for the priests of WDC and the conference on “the Joy of Celibacy. The quotation from the Gospel of Mattthew, “the laborers are few” is not a call to more celibates, but a call to ministry. Jesus does not demand or even ask for celibates. Ministers need to reflect the whole community, married persons, women, even gay persons. Not celibates alone. I think that we might picture this “unsinkable ship’s” leaderwhip as much like the chaplains on the Titanic who were encouraging the stranded passengers on the Titanic, to really turn their minds to the heaven that awaits them as they now drown in the Atlantic. (100 years ago this April 12th).
Thank you, John, for that giving and wise advice.
What happened to Rich is very distressing, first the horrible abuse, then McCormick’s disrespect, then SNAPS’ inexplicable mistreatment ,…. yet Rich nobly and courageously carries on the struggle. We all must do whatever we can to support Rich.
SNAP is made up of survivors, some with personal agendas, some heavy handed and ambitious obviously, some often influenced by survivors’ lawyers, some of whom can occasionally be heavy-handed as well, as we lawyers too often are. But we must try to be judicious, fair and prudent here for the sake of all survivors and future potential victims.
I have no connection with SNAP, but have observed that some at SNAP appear to have helped many survivors. SNAP has also filed criminal charges against the pope at the International Criminal Court, a game changing move.
We must surely support Rich, however we can, but we must also be mindful that SNAP is one of the few groups that has been able to marshall a counterattack against a ruthless hierarchy that is trying to destroy SNAP for that reason.
The bishops would love nothing more than to see SNAP collapse.
This, of course, in no way justifies the insensitive and harsh treatment some at SNAP have given Rich.
I agree with all of Jerry’s points and am very sorry Rich was treated badly by SNAP. And I don’t think SNAP is perfect, by any means.
But SNAP with a recent budget of somewhere around $350,000 has been for many years, incredibly effective in identifying Church abuse issues throughout the nation.
The bishops would love to rid themselves of SNAP. I pray they fail.
I JUST HAVE TO SAY IT AGAIN !
“But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on 7th Avenue.
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there.
La la la…” – Simon and Garfunkel
Until I read this, I was giving McCormick a pass (sort of) based upon “lonesome indiscretion.”
After what he did to you, “loathsome” NOT “lonesome,” is the correct descriptor for this lowlife priest.
It is the quintessence deep in the guts of the fraud that is the life of many a Catholic cleric, false promises. All LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE Lies…every last bit of it, “La la la…”
I am so sorry for what you endured, and I’m sure continue to struggle with. McCormick’s treatment to you makes me ill.
To borrow from survivor’s wife…
I believe the victims.
Don’t ever “shut up” that would be a huge lost to the survivors and the children of PA. I cried re-reading this from last year. I am so sorry.
Something important that Rich wrote in his comments were the words “suspected” and “allegations” A year later we are still in the dark about the actions of the suspended priests. Was it “grooming”? was it sexual abuse?was it boundary violations?…we don’t know. What I do know was that Rich was there in hopes or protecting children.
Maureen Martinez a local Catholic Mom who went on to found Jutsice4pakids was also a parishioner at a parish where a priest was suspended last March. As she left church one Sunday last year,she encountered Sherry ,a victim who was doing the same thing as Rich-distributing literature -trying to educate people. Maureen stopped to listen and then she listened some over the course of the next days and weeks. Just stop and listen.
I, too, believe the victims. You keep on fighting. The good Lord will strengthen, support, and bring victory those who do His will and endure injustices on His behalf. I support you and those like you with my prayers. Keep on fighting the good fight. Victory will be yours in Gods own good time.
Im sorry but I have to comment even though im only 17 because i am a parishoner at St.Tims and I was really close to him for the past 2 years since he got here because i go to mass and i work in the rectory. And no matter what, it was wrong for what he did and there’s no excuses. He has had problems before he came to St.Tims and i know he tried to get help when he left the priesthood because i believe he was an alcoholic and i think it got back to him. We were texting yesterday and I asked him why, and he said he’s been struggling with this for years and he hopes that everyone can forgive him at some point. He already went to confession to ask for God’s forgiveness. So maybe one day I can forgive him and hopefully you all can too.
**I was texting him yesterday***
I know Father Pat. He’s had problems in the past, yes. He backslid in his own recovery, and that happens. And to the person who said he shouldn’t be texting his parishoner- I’m 23, we emailed a lot and I’ve spent hours with this man talking about both our lives and just everything in general. (Actually Stef I tried emailing him but I think he’s been cut off.) Trust me- he’s not a threat to anyone. With this whole thing, he hurt himself more than he hurt anyone else.
He’s human, people. He screwed up. Just becauese someone takes their Holy Orders, it doesn’t make them perfect. Priests are men OF god. They aren’t GOD. They’ve had histories, lives, and problems the same as anyone else has.
I think Father Pat slid in a pretty extreme way, and what he did wasn’t right. I think he really is just one of those people who although it’s in his heart to serve God, being a priest just wasn’t a good fit for him. It probably hurts him like hell and I’m scared for him. I miss him terribly already.
I think it’s SICK and disgusting that the Church in Philadelphia took fierce action with Father Pat, but there’s 31 men on trial soon who served for years and sometimes DECADES after molesting children.
Sarah, It’s not that he shouldn’t be texting a parishioner, he shouldn’t be texting a minor. It’s a violation of the Archdiocesan boundary and technology rules. These rules were created to protect minors from inappropriate behavior. Father was aware of these rules.
You say he isn’t a threat to anyone and you may be right. But there are many who thought and still think the removed priests weren’t a threat. It’s not for us to determine and that’s why there are rules.
Also, I want to clarify that those removed priests are not on trial. They are under an independent investigation by Gina Maisto Smith, who is hired by the Archdiocese. Due to the Archdiocesan leadership’s coverup, the DA’s office was lacking evidence needed to go to trial and in some cases the statutes of limitations may apply. We also do not know if all the allegations are for molestation. The Archdiocese still has yet to disclose them.
Sarah, you stated; “He’s had problems in the past, yes. He backslid in his own recovery, and that happens.”
A lot of people do, and that’s not the problem I’m concerned with. However, the way he treated an abuse victim is over the top, and inexcusable!
In addition, I wouldn’t want my 17 year old interacting with him. If he’s on administrative leave he not clearly communicating with her on a professional basis.
Susan, it is almost a year now that Gina Smith has been investigating. She is at Ballard Spahr which has unlimited investigatory resources. Many of the priests she is investigating were significant persons in many Philly Catholics’ lives. It is time that either she tells Chaput to let her release her findings or she should resign her representation of Chaput.
Gina is a mother of five and must know how important her findings will be to many innocent parents. She has a duty not just to her client, but also to the law and the people of Pennsylvania.
Helping Chaput play hide the ball, if that is what she is doing as it appears, is seemingly a violation of her duty to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that issued her her law license.
I don’t want to be an alarmist. But, if there is one thing we have learned on this site, it is the need to inform proper authorities when the protection of children is at stake. Family and Children Services in Philadelphia should be informed that Fr. McCormick is or has communicated with minors, against the rules of the AD, and that his alleged crime threatens the well being of children.
Kathy and I are alerting the proper authorities and the Archdiocese tomorrow – in relation to boundary violations.
Thank you so much, Susan and Kathy.
The last thing I want to do is shut down the voices of young people on this site. Their insights, experiences and points of view are of critical importance. However, we have a responsibility to act as responsible adults.
Before everyone panics, realize that the Catholic League and other Catholic sympathizers use fake accounts to try to garner sympathy for any of their priests, and they use different levels of persuasion.
It is certainly helpful if anyone can get the diocese to investigate this, but they won’t. Ultimately, you are 100%, completely responsible for the safety of your own children.
I feel really bad for the children that don’t have parents, since Catholic priests who read the grand jury report have learned to prey on them.
Patrick- I understand but if there is even a 1% chance this is true then I will follow through on it.
I think that’s great, and if I were in his parish, I’d want his text messages subpoenaed and made public to see if this is just the beginning of problem with yet another sexual deviant priest (and I’ll bet it is).
stef, Don’t text this man anymore. He is wrong to be exchanging texts with you. Normal grown men don’t communicate with 17 yr-old-girls. Be smart and protect yourself. We have a justice system to help him. It isn’t our place to worry about forgiving him.
Thank you for posting. People sin. I certainly have. Forgiveness is part of our faith. Giving it helps those harmed by the sin as well as the guilty. But I think sometimes people forget to work for the forgiveness. Penance in action. I hope he gets the help he needs. Sometimes our lowest moments are blessings.
Our hierarchy asked us to forgive the priests who abused children. They now need to ask our forgiveness for the cover up. And they need to work for it by doing what Christ requires – rather than what the institution requires.
My question is knowing what we know now and his extreme emotional and physical response to Rich and he “double life” is he a victim himself of some kind of child abuse? I could be wrong. That is why I think like DrWho13 mentioned we should use the advances in psychology to aid the ideas of forgiveness, honesty, openess and ultimately healing……….hiding, covering up, soul sickness……….lead to sin and or are a sign of sin as well as emotional illness they go together many times.
Thanks so much, Stef, for your courage, compassion and good sense. It is very refreshing to hear from a teenager, since many of us C4C bloggers have grandchildren your age and are often unsure what they think.
I also agree with both Cristal and Kathy. Avoid Fr. McCormick, but keep praying for him. His condition poses too many dangers for you to be communicating with him any longer so casually, notwithstanding your good intentions.
I hope you, and other teenagers, share more of your thoughts at C4C about this subject when they feel comfortable doing so. Hopefully, they will avoid giving identifying details because who knows who reads these blogs entries.
C4C bloggers are mainly interested in helping to protect the young, but you never know who is listening.
I will forgive him when the Jewish People forgive hitler and when the Vietnam Vets forgive jane fonda !
What is a 48 year old man doing texting a 17 year old?
It’s not what it seems. He was close to all of his parishioners that way. Email, text, open door policy for his office. I just came from Mass. A LOT of people of various ages have been asking for his contact information.
You should not text him for the same reason that you should not drink beer; you’re not of age, and they both may be harmful to your health.
Sorry Sarah, that was intended fot Stef.
Obiviously boundaries issues many red flags I see here.
he texted me to tell me he was sorry for what he had done. u people dont understand.
Adults realize its bizarre for a 48 year old priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which is in the middle of a variety of child sex scandals in their schools and their parishes, and who just got into a sex and pot scandal himself, to be texting a 17 year old.
We all want to believe the best of people but sometimes people have secrets/illness/sin they need help dealing with addiction, abuse etc and then they can become the best God intended them to be. The start of this process is honesty and humbleness and then accountablity………..eventualy healing……….some people never get to the healing stage…….
Mr.Don’t tread on me…I LOVE the fact that you and others protest!!! Way to go!! You seem like a person – a hero, really, who is called to make a difference. You’ve certainly helped raise my awareness on many issues.
May I humbly offer some maternal-sounding advice (learned the hard way!)?….Are your tone and tactics working as well as they could? If not, then perhaps tweak them. Remember Dr. MLK….I respectfully recommend that you not “engage” with anyone during these protests –no matter what. Use no violence, no cussing, no arguing, no unplanned, out-of-control, undignified behavior –it’s self-defeating and beneath you –and frankly, beneath this cause. But most importantly, it is not effective in demonstrating your point –in fact, it strips you of power and hands the power over to the bad guys! It ALWAYS defeats the purpose.
It is exactly the way the AD wants you to behave while you protest them, because it makes you look irrational and aggressive, and it makes them look victimized.
(ok, ok and now I’ll shut up.- lol!)
Crystal? I actually have done well over 150 protests in 4 separate states. I almost never say a word to anyone. I always hope my signs do the talking. I have actually opened my mouth literally just 3 times in all those protests. Something just definitely “triggered” me.
You know… I don’t know what works well. Violence or silence? Silence doesn’t seem to be working. I’m not a violent person, but something tells me I have to use my own voice to overpower theirs.
Yes Rich. Silence keeps this going……….speaking and action………are what is needed. I said a movie and the basic message was if no one cares nothing changes……………
saw a movie
Rich, I’m sure you are changing hearts and minds on this issue every single day! May God comfort and bless you for your sacrifices. There’s probably no one formula for what works…You can never know which one of your words or actions will touch off an epiphany in the heart or mind of an abuse denier. I only suspect this apathetic “class” of folks may respond better to information delivered in a firm but dignified manner. –You know they’re told that the victims are all low-life, sociopathic, knuckleheads who only want to make a quick buck from the AD. Many only need to be shown the truth.
I was in deep denial about the issue until about 8 months ago. Apathy and ignorance kept me blind. The truth hit me when I logged onto Bishops’ Accountability- ” just to see what was what about all this clergy nonsense”…. I was flabbergasted the sheer numbers of abusive clergy!!!! I spent days and days reading the reports on that site and began to “get it”. I have never looked at the issue the same way.
I love MLK, but he also got shot. Gandhi may have been the most religious man in the last century, but he got himself and a lot of other people beat up to make his point.
The United States is here today because some people fought and fought hard, loud and physically against tyranny, and those tyrants never committed the type of evil that the Catholic church did.
I’m not saying you should be violent, but don’t feel bad about protecting yourself.
That said, you are a hero to young victims that might be reading this blog.
Thanks Patrick. I’m no hero. I’m just an ordinary guy trying to fight for an extraordinarily important cause.
Rich-I just wanted to tell you a couple weeks ago I went to your blog to find a way to contact you since I hadn’t “seen” you on here for a long time. With the upcoming trial I just wanted to let you know that I am keeping you in my prayers, along with all of the other victims but esp. those who post here like you and Vicky. I can only imagine the news regarding the trial must dredge up all your painful memories. Please be assured of my prayers. I missed your voice here.
Patrick, your reference to the US being founded to fight tyranny was directly related to Catholic hierarchical tyranny. The churches, especially the RCC, dominated states in Europe, which is why many of the original US settlers feared and fled.
For all practical purposes, the bishops’ current control of politicians and prosecutors is precisely what the founding fathers feared.
We now see why, when in the midst of a melee, we find a minor in a rectory being manipulated by a misfit, when daily we are told by clerics everything is “cool”.
We must demand the laws be applied to all, including our purple eminencees, as the founding fathers demanded and even died for.
Thanks, Theresa. To be honest, a lot of bad memories have been brought up in the passed year or so, but it got really bad for me when Jerry Sandusky did that interview on national television with Bob Costas. I told my partner that night, if I hadn’t already come forward about the abuse, that I certainly would after that interview, and I was positive that more victims would come forward in the days ahead exposing their own abusers. Jerry Sandusky opened up a can of worms for every person who has ever abused a child, and I thank him for that. Unfortunately, his smug and arrogant approach in answering Costas’ questions, and of course his bizarre answers to his “attractions toward little boys” was something that just completely enraged me.
Who would’ve guessed that Bernie Fine and Bill Conlin would be next on the list of exposed perpetrators? This is the single most important reason why I continue to speak out and why I will stand in front of a church with a sign in my hand, admitting to the world that “I was abused by a Catholic priest as a child.” If other men and women can see me, unafraid and no longer silent, I think I have a really good chance at helping them break their silence. If victims don’t come forward, this problem will go unnoticed or will continue to be swept under the rug.
I have heartfelt empathy for those young boys in the Grand Jury Report. It is so often, and sadly oh so familiar. Some of those boys, now men, told my story with their own stories. They stood on a wall and said, “Nothing is going to hurt me today and I am going to get my justice.” That’s everything to me. Every abuse victim I know doesn’t come forward to file lawsuits, and many I know don’t even come forward just for our own abusers to be held accountable, but even more, so we can expose our perpetrators and protect future children from abuse. I feel very strongly about doing my best to make certain that no child ever has to experience what I did. It is just about the worst thing I can imagine. I haven’t been through anything like it since, and I doubt I’ll go through it again. I do though, live with it in my mind everyday. I wish I could’ve known what it was like to grow up without abuse and to feel what it’s like to not have these awful memories, even for just one day.
Enough is enough! I think I have reacted so angrily in a few situations while protesting because I often feel like I just don’t know what to do anymore. What happens when you run in a race, and you run harder and faster than anyone else, and you still lose the race? It gets frustrating. It’s emotionally, mentally, psychologically exhausting.
I’m so sorry that other children have to be abused so that this subject can become exposed and enter the spotlight. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. One child being raped doesn’t bring justice to the table. There needs to be thousands upon thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, and even millions before people open their eyes to this issue. It’s sad and it’s a major let down. Just look at the boy in the Grand Jury Report who told a teacher about the abuse he was going through with the priests. I think he was about 10 years-old, and for the life of me I have no idea how he worked up the courage to tell someone, but he did do it. What happened? A teacher drove him to a playground and raped him in his car. You know what that says to me? I am f#cking glad that I never told anyone! But, this is the world we live in.
And priests are not even the majority offenders. It’s heterosexual married men who abuse more female and male children. Clergy abuse accounts for a very small percentage of child abuse victimization, but it’s how the Catholic Church has managed to brainwash children and parents, the cover-ups and denials, that’s important. The Catholic Church claims to be a moral institution, predicated upon love of God and devotion to children, but yet it practices almost nothing it preaches.
This is the type of thing that often sends me into a downward spiral of depression and panic. I have to live with my own victimization everyday. I also have to live with the reality that not too many people care and are more willing to spit in my face and throw stones at me because I’m trying to protect YOUR kid! I’m a homo and I don’t have kids, nor do I want any. What vested interest do I have to protect other people’s kids, especially when not one protected me as a kid?! I do it, not for you, but for them and that’s it.
Why is a priest texting a 17 year old girl and confiding in her ? RED FLAG?
im a male first of all, so dont judge someone because u think u know them when u dont.
Its just that your name is Stef, so some people assumed Stephaine, which is a reasonable judgement. By the way, being a male doesn’t make you any safer near a Catholic priest.
Your parents, Mr and Mrs 123987, should speak to you about this.
Mr. & Mrs. 123987? LOL That was hilarious!
Well, if you are a male, that doesn’t change the situation. Having a child (male or female) act a therapist or any other “friend” is just as bad. I would still tell your parents. It is inappropriate.
You got that right!! No priest should spend time alone, text or conduct themselves with a minor (or woman) so inappropriately. Sadly there are many women on this blog alone who have been swayed by his charming manor into thinking they are important. I have known him for years and he has been moved for such behavior before. Sadly, he will only do it again. God bless!
Susan,thank you for your time and effort, informing our brothers and sisters regarding
the behavior of Rev. Patrick McCormick. He needs help.
Sadly he was given help throughout his priesthood. Didn’t do much good did it?
Sorry- investigation. Excuse me, that was a legitimate mistake.
I think Father Pat should probably seek out therapy for his issues, and I do believe that life as a priest isn’t a good fit for him. He deserves the prayers of the people who care for him.
I did know about him confronting the victim-protester last year, but I really don’t feel right calling judgment on something that I wasn’t there for. I wasn’t there to see what happened, so it wouldn’t be right to me to pick out a side. There’s always the possibility that the account given has more to it on both sides than meets the eye, so I won’t judge the Father or the victim. I wasn’t there to hear the exchange, and it’s my policy on life in general not to go on what I personally have zero witness to.
Priest abuse is something that is ripping the Philadelphia Church apart. It hurts everyone who follows the faith here, especially the children who were robbed of their innocence and, for some, their faith.
Sarah, we appreciate very much your candor and fairness.
Our real concern is that some priests are master manipulators of both young and old, and often have dangerous agendas. Some priests have fooled some very experienced and intelligent people who blog here. Our advice is often based on painful experiences that we don’t want you, Stef or anyone else to experience anew.
You and Stef, as young people, have much to teach us as well about what is happening among young Catholics. Please educate us further whenever you are disposed to do so. But please be careful as well, and thanks for the updates.
Sadly Sarah, he has received many years of treatment. He just returned a few years ago after leaving for a women. Research it.. The Bishop knows what he has done.. Sorry innocent people are hurt in the process.. Bless..
Rev. Patrick McCormick needs helph and our ptayers. In any event, he should never have bullied the group of victim-protesters outside St. Timothy’s Church. Very sad that Pat had nowhere to turn for help within the Archdiocese to address his own addictions. Instead, on Wednesday, he’s arrested while driving intoxicated and then, on Thursday, he’s arrested a second time in as many days for patronizing a prostitute in Kensington. Actions speak louder than words and it sounds to me like Father Pat is shouting out in a plea for help. From a health standpoint he should be tested for HIV infection as well. Patronizing prostitutes in K&A is a very risky behavior. I wouldn’t want to be served the sacraments from Father Pat’s chalice for fear of infection. I, for one, will pray first for the victim-protesters in this story but also for Father Pat. I believe that he is a good person who got caught up in his own issues and demons. Another black eye for the Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Poor Cardinal Chaput!
I didn’t realize he was drinking and driving until you posted this. Arrested twice in two days, knowing the scandals that are overcoming the Philly Archdiocese?
This priest should be a gangsta rapper. In a penitentiary.
The chalice comment is a completely new take. People should all worry about this, since priests, who have a shockingly high rate of HIV. In a March 2000 article by Judy L. Thomas, in The Arizona Republic, it appears priests are dying of AIDS at a rate at least four times that of the general U.S. population.
Hopefully, if priests have AIDS, the Catholic church wouldn’t let that priest share a chalice, or pass out communion wafers, especially to children. Parents really have to be careful about protecting their children from everything related to Catholic priests.
Its comforting to know that the Catholic church wouldn’t cover it up……
P.S. People should NOT trust Sarah’s recommendations for a cab driver.
Father Patrick McCormick and all the other priests, nuns, laypersons out there who claim to be something other than they truly are, don’t need help. They need to be held accountable! It’s the innocent persons in their path who need the help.
He was not arrested for DUI. He informed the Archdiocese that he was arrested saying it was a DUI charge, this was an attempt cover up the real charge against him.
It is very true that what he was doing was very risky behavior. However, HIV can not be transmitted through touch or even sharing a chalice.
I also believe that Father Pat is a good man. Just mixed up.
I’ll agree he’s mixed up – Any man that takes an oath of celebacy is mixed up; it’s unnatural. I missed that part of the Bible where Jesus said “Now go share my word, but only if you give up sex.” Somewhere along the way Judiac society got real hung up on sexual issues (cutting off the foreskin? Why, of all places, would God want people to cut THAT?!?!?) and they’ve carried through to the current day.
Let priests marry and then, not only will you see more enter the priesthood, you will see better behavior out of them and likely more people coming back to church.
There is nothing worse than sitting through mass listening to someone try to relate centuries old parables to you, when he has no idea what it is like to raise children or deal with a spouse and yet that is a big part of who YOU are.
Fr. McCormick reminds me of a former priest from my area. After he was placed in my parish church, over the years his troubled history was gradually divulged by him to his parishioners, young and old. This disseminating of information was facilitated by his open door style, frequent texting and phoning, and general open and uncensored style of communicating and engaging with his parishioners. Because the parishioners had never experienced a healthy and appropriate “open” relationship with a pastor, they were unable to decipher the inappropriate aspects of their relationship with this one. They came to love and adore him, finding the relationship among themselves and him as truly “special.” Even when high school students would bring home to their parents the inappropriate details he shared in his encounters with them, parents were oblivious to there inappropriateness because they were blinded by the “special” relationship they had with him. The relationship was so “special,” so meeting their emotional and spiritual needs, that they were unable to look at it critically. Really, what was going on, was that the priest was troubled. He was using his parishioners’ love and admiration to assuage his vulnerable state of mind and being. It was a form of denial.
Then, he was arrested in an interstate highway bathroom where he used its walls to write messages soliciting sex from boys.
There was nothing but an outpouring of love from my parish church. Still, today, parishioners bemoan his departure. As we speak, he is serving in a parish church 140 miles
The neediness of the sheep is a great obstacle to reform in our Church.
Another word for what you are describing is grooming.
It’s all about the needs/wants of themselves. The parishioners have been “used” for his needs/pain/discomfort/wants. It’s a stunted, immature state…which may be due to the disease of alcoholism, among other factors.
This is so sad to see such a man in a position of spiritual/moral authority. Not because he’s human and we all sin, but because the powers that be, allowed him to confuse more people in the pews. When will the laity get a good example of a healthy relationship with pirests? The bigger problem is that the hierarchy can’t identify healthy very well,otherwise they wouldn’t have allowed this man to be in a ministerial position in the first place.
While I know “grooming,” it took your post to open my eyes to the fact that what was going on in my parish, then, was a form of “grooming.”
I still have a lot to learn.
Many times we think “grooming” must be conscious and deliberate on the part of the groomer…not so.
This man “used” his parishioners.
If he views a 17 year old as a trusted “friend” that he can confide in (or at the very least, even answer to)…that is disturbing on many levels.
While Stef hasn’t done one thing wrong and will (has) defend this man whom she sees as a good person who made a poor choice…she may not see that she (and likely many adults) have been “used” by him. That’s a telling sign. It’s a sign that the parishioners were vulnerable and trusting. HE is the PRIEST…who is charged with shepherding his flock. He isn’t expected to be perfect or without sin…but he is expected to not USE his parishioners by preying on their loyalty and trust.
He has already blurred the lines of healthy boundaries. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!
Hadit, I know you know what grooming is. Aspects of this topic hit me right between the eyes when someone says something in a new or blunt way.
I would be interested in knowing if Fr McCormick entered the seminary in the ninth grade?
I ask this because a friend of mine who is informed in these matters, (and I surely am not), commented recently on a situation in our state where a very popular young priest will be standing trial soon for his behaviour with very young women.
My friend’s point was that the sexual development of these guys, who have never dated, etc, gets arrested at a teenage level.
I dont know…the whole situation is miserable but I am glad Kathy and Susan are reporting it. And my sympathy goes out to both Sarah and Stef.
How does “being used” relate to clergy sexual abuse?
Pedophiles “use” victims for thier own wants/desires…so those of us who are survivors of sexual abuse by anyone are very sensitive to people “using” us…even if it’s not sexually.
“Users” are not concerned about what happens to others…they are consumed by their desires being met. When I was reading others say, “With eyes on Philly, you would think he would have…” Actually, he was so consumed with his desires, everything else meant nothing…all the people he hurt…didn’t matter. Now that he’s been caught and he’s getting a dose of shame and guilt…he’s “extracting” from his parishioners…friendship, connection, approval, forgiveness….and because they don’t realize they are being used, they will freely give it.
Sick, sick circle.
Joan, I’ll have to find the articles I’ve read about this topic.
There is evidence that their psycho-sexual development is arrested…specifically clergy sexual predators.
Also, a little known tidbit about alcoholism…emotional development stops at the age of an alcoholics first drink.
Many times they are grown men and women acting like they are 14 or 16 or 20…their coping mechanisms, reactions, emotional levels are immature.
Excessive alcohol consumption makes you an alcoholic. It doesn’t make you a pedophile! Trust me, I speak from experience. I have drank a hell of a lot of alcohol in my life, and never once was I so intoxicated that little boys started looking good to me.
That’s always a lame excuse. In fact, why is it that pedophiles are not even alcoholics until they get caught abusing a kid?
Just more excuses to cover-up the true identity of evil people.
I make no correlations between pedophilia and alcoholism.
I was referring to this priest who claims to have issues with alcohol and some factors that may be contributing to his maturity level.
Excessive alcohol consumption does not an alcoholic make, in my opinion.
I wanted to go back and comment on both Hadit’s and SW’s very useful thoughts.
I worked in a diocese with close to a hundred parishes, and was involved in parish program development. I have known a lot of priests.And there was a range in the ’emotional maturity level’ of these guys.
The emotionally mature guys welcomed program development, were generous in their assistance, and I think their personal socializing was healthy, and balanced. They didn’t ‘groom’ their parishes.
And they tended to be very thoughtful about the well being of retired priests, and provided for them.
When I think about Hadit’s and SW’s remarks, I reflect on a few places where I think probably parishioners were cultivated to supply priests psychological needs….And of course, parishioners collaborated. But I would put the responsibility around these issues on the hierarchy.
In this day and age with the wealth of social science learning that is now available, I think diocesesan management should be involved in some responsible screening (ansoap port) of active clergy, so as to spot and help folks like Father McCormick, way before he got to a C4C blog.
One MORE task for institutional church.
That’s a cult that worships false idols.
Can you give us the name of the priest? If its publicly documented, people should know. Parents should protect their kids.
OMG I ADORE YOUR HONESTY!! I have known Pat for several years and I have to say, he has been moved before for his behavior with women. He even recently returned to the Church after living with a woman. He told me that he returned because he could not make it financially int he “real world.” He is a silver tongued man with a devious background. Be afraid of him because he is a large predator on the young. I would even say he closest thing to a sociopath I have ever met. God bless!
Keep on keeping on Sarah. Your perspective on this topic is valuable here and in the rcc.
Something tells me that, at 23, if you are willing to be vocal on this topic, the rcc is in for some real change.
When I was in school we didn’t have emails or texting, but if we did I’m sure my abusing priest would have employed those same tactics to get closer to me and other young boys. He did have a “closed door” policy though, or that’s what I would call it when you make the young boy you are about to rape and brutalize close the door before you put your hands on him.
I see nothing good that could come from a grown man contacting a teenager privately. What is so important that it can’t wait until next Sunday? I believe it to be highly creepy that this man is communicating with children outside of the church and school. I think any child/teenager who has been in contact with this priest without supervision should tell their parents or forward those messages to police. The truth is this, even while I was being raped and sexualized in such a manner than no person should ever do to another, child or adult, I thought the priest cared about me too. Heck, I thought it was love, however skewed that thinking was back then, but I didn’t know any better. All I knew is what I had been taught and forced to do.
I am not exactly worried that Fr. McCormick is propositioning women for sex on the streets more than I am worried about what else is going on in his “secret life.” Good men don’t hook up with prostitutes. He could’ve easily left the priesthood if his urges were too strong to stay, and it makes me wonder what other urges he’s hiding, or what else has he done that just hasn’t come out yet.
Frankly, I think Fr. McCormick is an absolute lunatic. Maybe I could’ve handled the situation better, but he managed to get a rise out of me on a day when I obviously had a lot going on inside my head. Some people claim the priest to be the voice of reason though. Instead, this guy tried to bully me and I think he thought I would just cowar to his hostile reaction. But, he’s no different than the countless other priests and parishioners who have shoved me, pushed me, spit in my face, and called me a money-hungry leech. I know what I have done was the right moves. I am there to do my best to make certain that no child has to experience what I went through in my own childhood.
I am, however, contacting the District Attorney in Philadelphia about Fr. McCormick’s contact with underage parishioners. I will not be able to sleep tonight if I walked away from this issue without using my voice. I could not live with myself if I said nothing and found out later on that something very inappropriate was actually occurring. I don’t want to be confronted with the idea of saying once again, “I told you so.”
Rich, I am right with you on this. As a survivor we need people to really listen to us about this. Thank you for contacting the DA. I have a funny feeling about this priest, especially after he said that all the priests who have been “on leave” the 20 some of them did nothing wrong. HUGE red flag to me, people.
There is a new technology regulation and inservice in the Phila archdioscese and he may have violated it. Basically prohibts communication to minors using technology inappropriately.
I missed where Susan had addressed this earlier above.
Beth, McCormick may have violated human decency, a tech reg and maybe even another criminal statute, but, thank God!, as far as we know, he didn’t violate any canon law. So he walks to text minors and who knows what else. What a farce!
He should be immediately suspended and fully investigated by Seth Williams, and not by Gina Smith.
What MAN contacts a minor days following solicitation of a prostitute?
Stef, do your parents know this priest is texting you?
The parishioners contacted by the priest in my parish story, after his arrest, believed themselves to be his favorite, most special and closest ones. Indeed, the ones he did not contact, felt hurt.
They don’t realize they are being “used.” It’s such a betrayal when they come out of their denial.
I have said I would quit this blog, but after reading Father Wintermeyer’s posting, I must comment Thank you Father Wintermeyer. Your posting says eloquently what I wish to say. Thank you.
Rich, your suffering is ongoing, and may God bless you and keep you safe as you endure this pain, made harsher by the treatment of PARISHONERS and by the likes of McCormick.
Those of us who want real change in the RCC should thank the Philly vice squad. Father McCormick is clearly suffering shame and sorrow. We suffer with him because we know that our church is peopled with sinners. We can handle sinners, because we understand and accept sinners. But we THANK GOD THAT MCCORMICK WILL BE TRIED IN CIVIL COURT AND THAT HIS IS ACCOUNTABLE TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY FOR HIS “CRIME.” HIS TEXTING UNDERAGE CHILDREN MAY BE A MATTER FOR THE CIVIL COURTS, BUT IT IS DEFINITELY A MATTER FOR HIS EMPLOYERS. We hope his employers have learned something from this matter…
Would that every breach of conduct in the RCC were handled in such a timely and open manner.
One thing the church and its’ parishioners never counted on when they shove me and throw coins at me is simple: I can hack it!
“tough guy” Hmmmmmmmmm:)
I am tough, but I’m also weak. I’m not sure if anyone can go through some of the stuff I’ve been through and not be considered tough. I’m weak though, because I wasn’t tough enough to push my abuser away from me.
Rich the first thing that comes to my mind was you were not weak……….you were a kid……..
Don’t say for a second that you’re “weak though, because I wasn’t tough enough to push my abuser away from me”.
That wasn’t your fault. NONE OF IT.
You were under 18, in the presence of a man that you were told had some special power. We all know better now, but nobody knew back then, and certainly not a child under 18.
You are a hero for surviving and trying to show young victims that they can come forward, which makes you more tough and honorable than the 99% of cowardly Catholic sheep that don’t do a damn thing about it.
Elizabeth, I hope you share with us your thoughts about leaving. You add a lot here. The nature of a blog is people share their experiences and views. You can learn much, even if some views are disagreeable. I am an impatient type, but SW taught me many months ago we need to hear all views that are civilly expressed. We need to understand better what makes many pew Catholics so docile, if we are ever to change things.
SW was right. I have learned a lot from C4C bloggers that have helped me in the struggle against the deaf hierarchy.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine and your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine and your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and stand still on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t matter to me where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Ditto Elizabeth, re Fr. Jack Wintermyer’s courageous, candid and revelatory remarks in relation to his own ministry. Especially loved his final line on a previous post, “The Temple is coming down!”
Catholic Archdiocese Code of Conduct
1.Situations in which an individual is alone with an unrelated minor are to be avoided. However, if a one-to-one meeting with an unrelated minor needs to occur, it should be held in a public or visible area such as an office with an interior window or an office with the door open.
2.As professionals it is inappropriate for us to give expensive gifts to (or receive expensive gifts from) minors who receive services from us. While it is difficult to define the term “expensive,” for this purpose it is defined as a gift not to exceed $50.00.
3.Minors are never to be disciplined corporally or corrected with abusive or other inappropriate language.
4.It is understood that alcohol and tobacco products are regulated and defined by age limits as established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Employees, volunteers, priests, deacons, and religious are expected to enforce these regulations and never purchase or provide alcohol and tobacco products for those who are underage.
5.Illegal drugs shall never be distributed to or purchased for minors in the care of a priest, religious, deacon, volunteer, or employee of the Diocese of Fall River.
6.Prescription drugs shall never be distributed to a person whose name is not on the prescription.
7.No one will abuse alcohol when engaged in professional activities representing the Diocese of Fall River.
8.As professionals, we should always provide a safe environment, which ensures that sexual boundaries will not be violated. These include, but are not limited to, sexual, physical, and emotional boundaries, and all forms of contact, such as telephone, email, texting, social networking, and any other form of electronic media.
9.Never touch a minor in a sexual or other inappropriate manner.
10.It is illegal to engage in any form of sexual behavior with a minor.
11.Professionals in a supervisory capacity should be mindful of their responsibilities to the youth that they serve, and at no time shall their role be used to coerce an individual to engage in any sexual behavior.
12.Always report any suspected abuse to Catholic Social Services at 508-674-4681 and other appropriate designated staff.
I am sure the Archdiocese follows this site but we can always contact them also.
Contact the Archdiocese? For what? To give them time to prepare a cover-up?
Rich, I understand were you are going from believe. Police first. Any pressure to keep him on leave works for me while the police checks him out.
Thanks, Rich, very informative. Of course, No. 12 says abuse is to be reported to the diocese staff, rather than the police. This, of course, substantially undercuts Nos. 1-11 !! So what else is new.?
Within hours of being in touch with Chaput’s staff, McCormick is texting a minor. This didn’t happen in 1994 with the Bevil’s Devils shredding. It is happening in real time. Is anyone home at the Philly AD?
Is Seth Williams paying attention? McCormick doesn’t seem too concerned about Philly law enforcement. He gets a slap on the wrist and proceeds to text minors. All of his texts and e-mails can be subpoened by Seth, if he just does his duty conscientiously. He can’t wait for McCormick to send him a video recording, which is reserved for cardinals anyways.
And the grossly negligent and corrupt Pennsylvania legislators refuse still to do their duty. I hope C4C bloggers in PA vote them all out.
Might we hope the expert on devils, Santorum, will clean up the Bevil Devils he left behind when he was a PA legislator?
I wrote an email to the District Attorney. I am also in the process of contacting the Philadelphia Police Department.
Good Rich. Better to be safe than sorry.Susan is right I believe he also violated Archdiocesian regulations these have been added since 2nd grand jury came out.
V4J – I think you jumped the gun!
To Victims4Justice: I am so very sorry and sad at what you had to go thru as a child and again on that awful day with Fr. Patrick McCormick. I hope you can see now that God has entered into this situation on your behalf in that Fr. McCormick, the bully, has now been exposed for all the world to see what he really is when he was “caught” soliciting a policewoman for sex. You could almost say God has slapped his face on your behalf. Would you believe that my cousin who lives in Santa Fe NM contacted me the other day telling me that “a priest from St. Tim’s was arrested for solicitation.” She was a former Philadelphian, and was amazed that this case made the news in Santa Fe! So have courage. Justice is coming.
You would not believe how difficult it is to report this. I have been on hold for 10 minutes. I’ve been transferred 4 times, only to be told I have to call another number. Maybe this is the problem?
Rich, please tell law enforcement that the Philadelphia Inquirer is already looking into McCormick’s texting to Stef, so they better get moving before they have fresh eggs on their face.
thumbs up Jerry
I really am speechless right now. Finally got the number for the Special Victims Unit. I called and it rang and rang and rang. Got disconnected. Called again and it rang 20 times before someone got on and asked me to hold, or rather just said, “please hold.” Waiting, waiting, waiting…. disconnected again! It’s a good thing I’m not reporting someone being raped right now. Geez!
Thank you for your patience and perseverance …. yeah, like what if someone was being raped!
I meant “where” and “coming from”. Police investigtions and court takes along time like you are finding out. I just am thinking anything possible we can do.
Rich, Kathy and Susan ,
Thanks for contacting the authorities in this case it needs to be done.
To date I haven’t heard of any recorded sex-abuse related suicides in your part of the world. I think I made mention that Judy Courtin, lawyer and PhD candidate, and a senior law enforcement officer among others, have taken up the baton here, calling for the coroner to re-open cases on record. To date 35 and counting.. Judy Courtin states “she is getting far too many reports on clergy assault- related suicides and premature deaths.
I hope you all fare better than us on these unending tragedies.
If you are talking about world-wide suicides related to Catholic child sex abuse, that number is very low. There were 26 suicides in Australia alone attributable to Catholic clergy named Robert Best and and Gerald Ridsdale.
Any normal human being would want to find the other victims and prevent further suicides, but Bishop Peter Connors says “there’s no need for an investigation. We’ve learned what we needed to learn about what is appropriate behavior and what isn’t appropriate behavior.”
Frankly, I’m surprised none of the families have gone after the bishop.
The number of suicides worldwide, tragically, must be in the thousands.
I hope that the work of the people here is helping to make survivors find strength and support.
Arthur Baselice III, raped by a two Catholic priests in high school, Father Horowitz and Father Newman. Newman was the president of Archbishop Ryan High School and was imprisoned for stealing $1 million from the Catholic Church. It was also known to church officials that Fr. Newman abused Arthur, but the Archdiocese only punished Fr. Newman for stealing from them. Newman also addicted Arthur to drugs when he was a kid, tried to pay him off with thousands of dollars, drugs, and gifts to keep the abuse secret.
Arthur Baselice died as the result of a drug overdose in 2006. Arthur, in my opinion, was murdered! This priest used drugs to silence Arthur, who eventually and unfortunately died from it.
I can see why we never hear too much about anything related over here in any of our media.
Maybe thats why the church here has jumped the gun, with all the in house systems in place, paying the victims off with confidentiality clauses, [those who survive that is].
Brokenrites have a lot of issues on record, but many were wary of the content for many years, believing they were anti-catholic. They don’t have a forum such as this, where discussions are open to comments, that would bring the public into the scene.
I have learnt more about what’s happened/happening in America, that one can put their finger on, since coming across this site
I didn’t realize you were from Australia, but the suicides over there, and the attitude of Bishop Connors infuriates me. I love to see you being helpful here, but start a blog over there, too.
Go to wordpress.com and set one up, which is free and pretty easy. If you aren’t technical, use Typepad. If you want to pay $10 a year to make it a little better, go to name.com and buy a domain name like AustraliaCatholics.com and use a “301 redirect” to point it to your blog. I can help you if you need it.
You could literally save lives down there, since Bishop Connors is still trying to keep this quiet, and if 25-35 have already committed suicide, there are others that are suicidal.
I think Arthur Baselice’s father is a reader of this blog. Mr Baselice, know that the people who contribute here are sick over what happened to your son, and that you and he did nothing wrong.
In the event that Stef is still on this blog reading our comments, I want to say this – If you are feeling guilty about myself and others here contacting the authorities about the text messaging between you and Fr. Pat, I’m sorry but I feel like I must step in as the adult, as a clergy abuse victim myself, and expose this inappropriate situation to whomever will listen. When I was your age, maybe someone older saw something in my own words and they failed to intervene. I won’t do that to you or to any other kid.
You’ve probably heard this a million times before, and I certainly don’t want to sound like your parents, but I think you’ll understand why I have done this when you get older. The red flags are just too plentiful to look past in the post you wrote earlier. A grown man should not be contacting a child (or a teenager) to talk about things he should be discussing with a therapist, or his employers. You own no fault in this, but please just think about it for a moment. How many other adults talk to you about their addiction to alcohol and prostitutes? Why did he not call you house and ask your mother or father if he could speak with you? Why only text messages? This type of conversation is NOT okay and Fr. Pat needs to learn a lesson real quick and he needs to get help before this escalates into anything further, if it hasn’t already. Furthermore, you stated that these conversations with Fr. Pat have been going on for 2 years. So you were 15 when these text messages started? I was 14 when I was abused by a priest, Stef. This is, on so many levels, way above and beyond anything even remotely considered “appropriate” with an adult man, who isn’t your own father!
So I just want to end it with my report to the authorities was plainly out of concern for an underage person, unaware of so many things you could never imagine, and quite frankly, you really shouldn’t have to know about. I hope you speak to your parents about this and I hope you understand that I would do exactly the same thing again if confronted with a similar situation.
Take care, study hard, and find some kids your own age!
for the 100th time he texted me to tell me hes sorry that he let us down.
and i never said i txted him for 2 years, i said ive known him for 2 years.. theres a difference because thats when he came to st. tim’s
There’s nothing wrong with him letting you and everyone know he is sorry. It’s just that it should have been done in a letter to the parish to be read after Mass or in a phone call to your parents. All priests have been made aware of the rules regarding boundary issues. Using any technology to contact minors is forbidden. That rule protects him as much as you.
Actually Victims4Justice, you have done exactly what Angela Ryan csb, Executive Officer of Professional Standards Australia, has advocated in part which states in part,what each of us can do:
“Be aware of the possibilities of abuse; trust our instincts: work to protect children, young people and vulnerabale adults.
The response was measured when I contacted the President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference, when I complained her programme was not being sent to all parishes, and I was fobbed off.
Make no excuses for what you did.
You are amazing!! God bless!!
I was out all day without access to a computer.
Over the years I have completed all of the requirements to be a volunteer within the AD . A 48 year old man texting with a 17 year old parishioner …no,not okay. It doesn’t matter if that man is a priest,teacher or coach. To be texting with a minor discussing in ANY way the arrest for solicitation of prostitution and drugs …no, not okay. I have already left a few messages and sent a few emails and will follow up tomorrow. Some would think it is crazy to contact the Archdiocese -I think the opposite because having sat in on these training sessions all these years – I would like to see the process in action. If we don’t tell them the problems -they could simply say they had no idea. If we tell them the problem then we see how the system in place works or fails.
hadit and Survivors wife, I appreciated your comments about priests and parishioners. A priest from a parish I belonged many years ago was named in the 2005 report. He admitted years before to molesting a group of young boys and another priest vouched for the credibilty of the boys claims against the priest. All this is spelled out for anyone to read in the GJ report of 2005 -but who reads that..right? Instead a group of parishioners visited this priest in his life of “prayer and repentance” and he denied anything ever took place. They then reported back to fellow parishioners “Father is innocent,poor,poor Father” I think people need it to be not true for themselves – to scary too face. Not right in any way, shape or form and because of this victims continue to suffer ,just an observation of human nature,not in any way meant as any type of excuse
Always looking out for the kids -you are a gem Rich.
Contacting the Archdiocese may not be the best approach. Contacting the police and newspapers will yield better results, and they can subpeona phone records, although I’m not sure about the legality of a priest texting children.
Kathy, can you please give the name of that priest. All of these guys should be called out in public, and if just a couple of the sheep that followed him read the GJ report, they might sway other sheep.
I stopped txting him last nite because he was told he cant use his phone for a while and probably till it’s all done with
You did nothing wrong Fr.knew the rules and he broke them.He has a substance issue and boundary issues and that is not a safe type of person for a minor to be around no matter how nice he is. Fr. is putting himself at risk in many ways also if you really think about it.
Stef, Any adult who has been through the Archdiocesan training whether that be a clergy member,teacher,coach or volunteer -knows that texting minors is not allowed. People commenting to you on this site are only looking out for you. As a Mother of teenagers myself, it would very much upset me to find out they were receiving/exchanging text messsages from any adult, let alone someone who has been charged with soliciting prostitution..it is not okay. Someday when you are older and a parent yourself, you will probably look back on this and understand the concern so many are expressing.
The policy from the Office of Child and Youth Protection is not that “electronic communication with minors is forbidden”. The OCYP policy is that adults are required to have written permission from parents before having access to minors via electronic communication means. http://archphila.org/protection/pdf/AddendumtoStandards.pdf
If the policy actually were “electronic communication with minors is forbidden”, then it would keep folks safe. As it is written, the policy keeps no one safe.
Moreover, while we could surmise that violation of the policy would be grounds to remove an adult from either a paid or volunteer position in the AD, the penalty for violating the policy is not stated by OCYP. Thus, “in matters of doubt, there is liberty”( I think that is the old Catholic saying). I could logiaclly see the consequence for violating this policy, or any other OCYP policy for that matter, being the loss of a job or volunteer position. However, how the AD deals with CLERGY in pastoral positions is not logical. The violation of said policy seems to have no surmisable consequences for clergy in pastoral positions. Is the OCYP going to go on record and state what the consequences are when clergy who serve in pastoral positions violate this policy? Is OCYP going to go on record and state what the consequences are when paid staff and volunteers violate this policy? Does the OCYP even have the power to enforce this policy when it comes to CLERGY in pastoral positions violating this policy?
Does OCYP have the power to tell the Bishop McIntyre(the bishop in charge of Safe Environment offices) or Archbishop Chaput what consequences are to doled out to CLERGY in pastoral positions when said policy is violated? I have been waiting quite some time to get answers to these questions from OCYP. So OCYP, will you provide some answers now?
Michele all good questions,some I have been seeking answers to myself. As to electronic communications not being forbidden but needing parental permission. That seems to be pertaining to communications that would be necessary such as a coach alerting players that a practice was canceled -something along those lines -specific reasons for the communication -not just exchanging “chatty”emails/texts between adult/minor.
To the best of my knowledge boundary violations are “handled” on a parish by parish basis -that is what I have been told by priests also. It is up to the pastor to determine the consequences involved. I am referring to boundary issues such as texting etc… And if this info is wrong -please OCYP -feel free to chime in.
The policy states that adults(adult leaders is another term used) must have prior written permission from parents before communicating with minors via electronic means. No where in the policy does it state that the rule about prior written parental permission only applies “in the case of a coach cancelling practice or something along those lines.” If you have something in writing that states something differently, please share it. As I said, the OCYP has created consent forms geared towards parish personnel(they are available on the website). However, OCE had also created its own permission form that was to be used by the schools to obtain parental permission for electronic communication with minors. I know the individual high schools have also had to deal with figuring out how to create procedures for implementing this policy, as it was a policy handed down from OCYP without direction for implementation.
The policy, as it is written, permits any adult (paid or volunteer) to have communication with minors via electronic means when PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION from parents is obtained as part of the professional/ministerial relationship the adult has with the child.
The policy, as it is written, in no way serves to prevent an adult, who has written permission from parent(s) to contact a kid via electronic means, from using this avenue to groom a child. At the very least, we can hope the policy could be used to raise awareness among parents about the fact that they have to be informed about whom it is their kids email, text, call etc. That is, if parents are even informed about its existence in the first place. Not all parents attend the safe environment trainings since the trainings are only for those who work or volunteer in the AD.
Just another FYI: high school personnel are not under the authority of any pastor.
Michelle wrote, “The violation of said policy seems to have no surmisable consequences for clergy in pastoral positions.”
This sums up EVERYTHING you need to read. We can debate the rules, who follows them, who enforces them, the color of the paper it’s written on…but THIS is what you are dealing with.
They’ve created policies that no one enforces and have no consequences.
The fact that a priest contacted a minor days following his arrest for solicitation of a prostitute should be enough.
It’s not enough to create a better policy if there’s no one to enforce it or there aren’t consequences.
The OCYP does NOT have the authority to override anything a bishop or priest does…they are suggestions.
I ask the same question here I asked the head honchos 3 years ago…”Or what?”
He didn’t break a law…he may have even had parent permission…BUT, is this a man you want influencing your youth, heck, your adult laity?
Sorry, you are incorrect on this matter. Any adult who has gone through the trainings should know that the OCYP policy states that electronic communication with minors is permitted WITH PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION from parents. As I said in my previous post to Susan, if the policy actually forbade electronic communication with minors, it would keep kids and adults safe. As it is written, it keeps no one safe.
Please see the policy: http://archphila.org/protection/pdf/AddendumtoStandards.pdf
All parents of children in schools and/or programs in the AD should have received notification of this policy and all schools and/or programs should have contacted parents to obtain WRITTEN permission from parents so that teachers, coaches, DREs, PREP staff etc. can have electronic communication with their children.
The OCYP even has the permission forms available on the website: http://archphila.org/protection/DocArchive/Policies/pap_main.htm
Michele, This is a great point. Thanks for clarifying again. It’s hard to keep it all straight. Because Steph worked in the rectory, there may have been prior written permission from his parents.
Michele,I think that my example came directly from the “test” that we had to take online after completing the training. I have researched child protection in Dioceses throughout the U.S so maybe I am confusing this with something I read from somewhere else.
I agree having parental permission to have electronic communication with children obviously can turn into something else all together -absolutely.
I am aware the high schools do not fall under the jurisdiction of a pastor. I was referring to parish employees,teachers, janitorial staff,volunteers -when I referenced the “consequences” being determined on a parish by parish basis.
Michele, from the permission form “By providing the email address and cell phone number of a minor, the parent or guardian grants permission for electronic communication from the group leader to this young person in regards to all group related activities.” This is what I am referring to in regards to the online training with examples of appropriate reasons for communication. For example a coach sending a text/email about a practice being canceled. But like everything there is certainly “wiggle” room about how a person could rationalize reasons for communications and in the end if a person is not following the rules what happens? I am with you on that.
Adults have no business texting kids unless they’re relatives or close family friends. Plain and simple.
Well then, it’s really simple; If Fr. Pat had written permission to contact children via text messaging then he’ll have nothing to worry about when the police come knocking.
However, I hope the parents are monitoring those texts messages and if not, maybe they’re the ones who need to be investigated!
It would be a very cold day in hell before I allowed my kids to contact a priest or any adult man for that matter, without my supervision.
Is there something wrong with this picture, when “men” floating around in multi-colored dresses try to tell the world what is sexually relevant or sinful, when sexual abuse “in their house” is rampant.
Theresa,you hit the nail right on the head. What a great visual image you have sent to us. So sad yet so real.
Here are the “suggestions” he violated…
Adults should never consider electronic mail to be private.
Adult leaders may wish to copy another responsible adult
(parent, supervisor, athletic director or alternate youth ministry
leader) when sending an electronic message to a minor. This
action demonstrates transparency and appropriateness when
communicating with minors. All electronic messages should be
relevant to the ministerial/professional relationship the adult has
with the minor with due consideration for the age of the minor.
Adults should be brief in one to one, electronic conversations
with a minor. Messages should be kept short, and to the point,
and related to the professional/ministerial relationship between
the adult and minor.
Again, “Or what?” There is no written documentation of the consequences if the ADULT violates the suggestion.
When is the AD going to wake up and realize that hiring minors to work in the rectory is a really bad idea? You would think that the risk-managment driven policies set out by the OCYP/Safe Environment Office would have addressed the practice of hiring minors to work in the rectory. Sheesh…..guess they missed that one!
Really hope there are a lot of Philly catholic parents reading this blog,today. The situation with ‘texting’ is serious, it is also a striking metaphor for the whole sexual abuse of minors issue…SW was so right….
Catholic children are supposedly protected by clerical ‘suggestions’ which no one enforces. Priests are ‘suspended’ with no accountability. Predators are ‘protected’ and passed on.
gosh you’re so right.– The texting situation tells the tale about the present state of things in the AD.
duh..How are children still working in rectories? –And on the altars and back in the sacristies — don’t priests finish getting dressed back there? Even the slowest parents have to know that’s where so much of the abuse started? Why are the kids still pouring wine?
Is there something wrong with this picture, when “men” floating around in multi-colored dresses try to tell the world what is sexually relevant or sinful, when sexual abuse “in their house” is rampant.
Ms. Coleman, you made my day! After reading all of the entries, I needed to chuckle just a little. The story and topic is very serious and dangerous, but the image you created with your comment falls under the heading of “too much information”.
Multi-colored dresses? Is anyone in charge down there at 222 N.17th St.? Damn it all, when are we selling the Cardinal’s palatial estate out there on City Ave? I’ve been thinking of a moving up to a little bigger place with ground for the family over the past several years. Which real estate broker is handling the deal?
….Michael Sk. I hope you get your estate!
This post about that Main Line mansion got me to thinking about Jesuit-run institutions like St, Joe’s University and the $20K per yr., St. Joe’s Prep HS.. … How can parents send their boys and girls to these 2 schools knowing that the Northwestern chapter of this order went bankrupt because the Jesuits molested so many disadvantaged children–? I mustn’t judge …Maybe they just don’t know.- the Jesuits probably don’t mention it on parents’ orientation day. -?
The entire, crooked, arrogant order should have paid the price for these crimes – and nobody ought to patronize their schools.
ok, i have tossed and turned for the past 3 nights…. I am a 40 years old woman, who is a recovering alcoholic… I was sexually abused when i was 5 years old… By not one, not two but six…. 18years old boys… I come from the (CIA) Catholic Irish
Alcoholic family, and when i told my parents what was done to me and what i was made to do back, to the boys… I was scorned with silence and told that i was dirty… At age 7 i tried to commit suicide. My father was an active Alcoholic my whole childhood He would beat me so bad, that i would pee myself. My mother was not any better with her verbal abuse. ( I will never amount to anything, etc..) As an adult, i did not know any another way to deal with the pain, therefore i found my love for drugs and alcohol… I have done some shameful things while drugging and drinking… I turned my back on God and the Catholic Religion… Why did i deserve this life? Why did God give me all of this? Why did this happen to me? I was pissed of at God? I had no one else to blame… Something was taken from me that i will never get back when i was abused at 5 years old.. I will never find those people that did that to me… They will never really pay for what they did…. In the end they will have to answer to someone…Not me.. Not Justice…Not the Court…. But the Big Judge…. The one upstairs… After living a life of self destruction, i hit rock bottom and got sober. I thank God for my Sobriety… An unmerited gift from God that i have received. I did nothing to deserve this amazing life i have today… After getting sober, i no longer struggle with the shame and remorse i had.. (attending a 12 step program) i wanted more, i wanted to get closer to God. So my boyfriend and I decided to give the catholic church another chance… We met with this priest twice a month for 8 months… He could identify with our addictions! Wow, we found some light at the end of the tunnel…. A big light… We became very close to this man, he helped us so much with letting go of the past and the pain… He gracefully guided us back to faith, and to a God of our Understanding… i am forever grateful for this man. That man was Father Pat McCormick. He married us this past January. I am so heartbroken to hear what has happened. (yes, i feel betrayed, and hurt) Instead of judging i pray for him and all that have been effected. I can only imagine the pain, shame and guilt he has. This is the power of Alcohol and drugs, the lower power. I thank God i have a 12 step program. I learned in order to move forward and to heal i have to pray for the men that harmed me when i was 5. And i leaned to forgive them! I have peace of mind today by doing that… This girl talks about standing at the bottom of the steps of Father Pat’s home and protesting…. I would have been defensive just as he was.. She said she was having a bad day, maybe fr. pat was having a bad day. If you want your voice to be heard…. Don’t create more chaos. Go and teach the children… Thats what i have done, i teach the children about good touch, bad touch… Your actions speak louder then your words… Unfortunately, I have very mixed emotions and this incident is the icing on the cake for me… I will seek out another type of church (non-denomination) perhaps… I just trust in God that he will direct me, wherever i am supposed to be… I just don’t think the Catholic way is for me anymore. I have learned this past weekend to only trust in God.. .Humans fail, they fall. I just don’t believe in what the Catholic Church Preaches…. I do believe God will not fail me… And that,” The Will of God will never take me where the Grace of God will not protect me.” I will pray that this girl finds some peace, and forgiveness…. Once you let go, it feels so good… I promise! cmd
I don’t have any words other than I’m sorry for what you suffered. I’m sorry the adults in your life didn’t protect you and consequently, didn’t believe you. I’m sorry you were betrayed by this priest as well.
Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you continue to share your courage with us.
Thank You for your kind words. I just wanted to follow up with, I have forgiven my parents as well. My father is sober for 20 years now. And i have a loving relationship with both of them… All due to the pain i have experienced. cmd
How strong you are, just to survive this childhood. None of this was your fault…you were just a baby. Like so many of the personal stories on this site, my heart breaks.
May God bless you and lead you to “another type of church” that assists you in your healing.
My bride of 24 years also grew up in a “CIA” family. To this day, her memories of mental and physical abuse are all to clear.
Thank you for your support and kind words. I believe “Pain is the touchstone to spiritual growth.” cmd
Thank you, cmd, for your sharing, your caring, your courage…..
I am sorry for all you suffered and wish I could have been there for you.
Whatever you do, trust Jesus and follow your heart…
I hope you keep in touch with C4C.
Jerry, Thank you for your kind words and support. I have an amazing life today… A prayer i say everyday is
God, Thank You for what you have given to me.
God, Thank You for what you have taken from me. And
God, Thank You for what you have left me….
This prayer gives me so much Gratitude! cmd
I am so sorry for the pain you have had to endure over the years. In reading your post, I hear how horribly you were mistreated when you were five. I hear how your parents were consumed with their own struggles when you most needed them. I hear how Fr. McCormick guided you to a place where you could let go of the past and finally experience the peace you needed and deserved. I hear how Fr. McCormick’s recent indiscretion has hurt you, and that you hurt for him.
I am trying to place myself in your shoes. What would I think? What would I do? What I would think and do are not meant to act as suggestions or solutions for you. They are, alone, what I would think and do.
If Fr. McCormick were instrumental in my healing, I would come to care for him deeply. At the same time, I would not have faith in him to not succumb to error. You said it. He is a man, a mere mortal, even though he was your “savior” (when you succumbed to error). I would permit Father to err. In erring, it does not lessen the way he was your “savior.”
In “saving” you, Father meant to have our faith and God save you. He meant for you to trust, have faith in, and rely on them, not him. He was showing you the way to them, not the way to him. Therefore, “the way” is always in our faith and God, and not in the person who shows us the way.
Father helped you. It is his time, now, to suffer the weight of having erred and to be vulnerable. Lift him up, as he did you, by reminding him of the way. Lift him up by assuring him you can follow the way at a time when he cannot lead you.
Cmd, I have valued C4C and thought from the beginning that there was a special reason for it. Your posting is exactly the reason.
So much pain, so much truth, a genuine form of accountability. Thank you very much. Joan
Stef…Who knew a simple text would create this?
It all seemed so innocent…Fr. Patrick McCormick was just saying he was sorry for letting people down. If only it were that simple.
Does your guidance counselor text you? How about your math teacher who is concerned about you? If they did something wrong in their life, do you they text you to show their remorse?
I feel badly for you Stef, because you might jump to the conclusion that all of this energy surrounding a text was brought to light by you…and I don’t want you to think you are responsible or shouldn’t have said anything.
Truth is, I’m angry at the adults surrounding you and all minors at St. Timothy’s. I’ve been telling people for decades now…This is an ADULT problem. Adults who don’t create safe climates, adults who weren’t monitoring children, adults who couldn’t tell the warning signs of (fill in the blank), adults who put priests on pedestals, adults who create policies, adults who don’t enforce policies, adults who perpetrate, adults who don’t know what to do once children have been hurt, adults who can’t identify unhealthy boundaries and then pass it on to their children, adults who allow minors to work in rectories knowing the climate is questionable (at best)…you get the picture.
I’m sure you are surrounded by adults who love you and want what is best for you…and likely you already know what’s best for you too…but, the adults FAILED you this time. How does the Catholic Church, given everything they have been dealing with, get to a place where a priest is texting (no matter how innocent it may seem) a minor within days of an arrest for solicitation? Separate from the consequences of the laws for what Fr. Patrick McCormick has been charged…what will the Catholic Church’s consequences be for this?
Stronger than the anger I have for the adults surrounding you though, is my concern about you (and all youth and soon-to-be adults) believing this was “no big deal.” I want more than anything for you to know…You are a big deal. You deserve to know what is healthy and appropriate from the adults influencing your life. Fr. Patrick McCormick has not modeled that to you…not only due to his addictions, sin, etc., (we cannot stand in judgment of that)… but by not erring on the side of what was best for YOU. You are a big deal and his actions didn’t match that.
SW, since Feb 29, 5 days ago, there have been 10,757 hits on C4C.
I’m not quite sure why, but I am very conscious of the folks who are quietly reading this blog. And if ever there was an education about abuse issues, from the personal point of view of survivors, victims, and concerned others, it’s happening right now, in real time. Everything from the unavailability of the Special Victims Unit when V4J was trying to reach them to the extraordinary advice and support that you and others are offering. Advice that CLEARLY comes from experience.
I was kind of critical of the choice of Fr McCormick’s solicitation difficulties as I didn’t think an individual and tragic situation like that, was going to add much to the whole Lynn trial debate.
Boy, was I wrong.
Wow… over 10,000 hits. I would imagine it’s because a minor innocently posted something that could raise some “concerns.”
I’ve been thinking about this all morning. Catholic parents have a false sense of security. They really do believe they are “smarter” than your average bear when it comes to this. THIS simple example shows they aren’t as wise as they thought they were. It’s a minor thing in relation to the sexual abuses that children have endured…but, it’s indicative of the fact that they couldn’t prevent the inappropriateness of this man any more than many good, catholic parents could have prevented the abuses that occurred. The damage is done, so to speak.
Except in this situation, they’d been warned and they didn’t heed the warnings so something like this wouldn’t happen.
They get the opportunity to learn some lessons and make changes…IF they can admit they did anything wrong in the first place. This is their chance to change their course..or go back to what they’ve always done. And we all know…if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. If they dump this all at the feet of a sinful man…then they will have learned nothing.
This time it was a text message…what will it be the next time right under their noses?
sw- speaking of the parents false sense of security…..Wondering if there’s any sort of “watch dog” parochial school parents’ group in place to oversee and ensure accountability for the safety measures in place for their kids? –or is it left up to the administration?
SW, you have pointed it out often. Without bishop accountability to independent lay oversight, the only thing we can be sure of is that when you cut through the clerical window dressing, bishops are not concerned with really protecting children.
And so it was and so it will always be. We need to select and remove our own bishops, nothing else will work. There was a reason Christians did this for three centuries. There is also a reason a ruthless Emperor, Constantine, reversed this consensual policy by military power.
The military power is gone. It is time to get the Supreme Pontiff off his imperial throne. There is nothing stopping us.
SW, many months ago Kathy commented that she had learned so much from you. And Jerry just said it. You are a very special woman and your advice to parents is so spot on!
I hope to God, they heed it!
One of things I like best about your comments, and Hadit, Susan and Kathy are good at this too, is how respectful you are with a commenter who has a polar opposite pt. of view. THAT’S maturity!
Many thanks, Joan
Don’t give me the credit…I’m prone to ranting with the best of us. Others here can tell you I need to be kept in check from time to time.
I want children protected. I want parents to wake up. Why wait until something happens before we learn the lessons? I’ve learned more from victims (Rich, Vicky, and others here as well as the rooms full of survivors and family members)…and it’s all we’ve ever really needed to do to clean up this entire mess was to listen to the children, young children and grown children. They have given us the road map. I believe the victims. The weight of their stories is more powerful than any words any of us could string together.
In rooms full of victims and their families they have repeatedly shared, “If I could have a church full of Catholics listen to my story…” They just wanted to be heard, believed…and to point out the warning signs so no one would have to endure what they are living with or have had to overcome. I could relate. When my husband and I shared our stories for the first time, I’ll never forget what a mother of a victim who took his life said to us. She grabbed our arms, very hard, started sobbing, looked at us so deeply and desperately and said, “You have to be my son’s voice!” I get goosebumps when I think about it. Then I came here…
And you know…this site is the church full of Catholics.
Thank you for the kind words.
SW, I ve been reading this blog since July, maybe you ranted before July…but not since.
Instead, what you have done over and over is to very very articulately share your own and your husband’s experience of abuse, and your insights as to how to protect innocent kids.
Please take a lot of comfort in the thought that you have been the voice of that dead child, and very hopefully have helped prevent that type of disaster, as well!
SW, the only time I see you rant is if you disagree with me, which by definition is a rant! LOL
SW …your comments about this site….”and as you know….this site is the church full of Catholics ” ….makes a lot of sense and when I reread folk’s comments on today’s blog it occurred to me that they were the best ‘sermons’ I’d heard in a long time!
LOL! I vaguely remember my rant. It was a true sign of affection. I trust you will always keep me in check. 🙂
I’m not sure if there is…
but, even if there were…Kansas City is a good indicator of how all that plays out. The parents, teachers, school administrators, having been trained and “aware” were the watchdogs…and the perp still got to the kids because the entities that were in charge of consequences and taking things seriously didn’t do their job. The watchdogs had to go to extreme measures to get the very basic things done.
I’m tired of the “after-the-fact” crap…how about some prevention?
It will be the parents that change this dynamic…BUT, the parents have to believe there’s a problem in the first place. Up to this point, they have not acted on it if they have believed there were problems. They have to come out of their own denial and be moved to action. Honestly, just by the mere fact that they have a minor working in the rectory shows their denial.
I like the idea…I’d be interested in how it would be implemented in a system where the hiearchy holds all the power and the parishioners are not prone to pressure or challenge the hierarchy.
My previous comment was in response to Crystal.
sw…thanks for your answer… interesting! ….
What I don’t get is this…. These are PRIVATE SCHOOLS!!! –These parents are ENTITLED to more power and control over their kids’ experience than they seem to command. Aren’t the parents mad enough by now to be the most pro-active and diligent of watchdogs?
How about a Parents’ Against Abuse Of Catholic School Children Watchdog Website dedicated to this effort?— An ongoing, “right in the Archdiocese’ face”, diocese-wide discussion among parochial school parents dedicated to keeping kids safe-? ..(maybe this already exists?)
I ask this of anyone here…”Would you allow your minor child to work in a church rectory?
Trust me when I say…I am not judging or throwing stones. I’m making a point about the question you raised about parents being “mad enough.”
I can bet that many here would say no. But, some might say they’d need to know more specifics, etc. If you were a “good” Catholic who has had positive experiences with priests, you probably wouldn’t blink an eye, or you might even go so far as to say it was an overwhelmingly positive opportunity, right?
Parents aren’t “mad enough” because they don’t believe it can happen to their child. They believe it happens to the “at-risk” groups of children. They believe they are smarter, more diligent, more “aware,” more careful with their children than those parents of the children who were abused. A priest text a minor who works at a rectory right under their noses! I understand how it could happen to the child. But, how in the world did it happen to all the diligent, educated, non at-risk group adults who have been trained and are therefore, “aware?” They believed “not my child,” and “not my church.” Ironically, it’s the same thought process of the parents who didn’t see the warnings signs of a predator priest either.
If you are a St. Timothy’s parent…watch the reactions of yourself and your friends about this topic. It mirrors the EXACT same dynamic as the clergy sex abuse scandal. Think of what would have been healing vs. what was actually done.
The worst thing would be to blame the minor who shared the information. Next would be to silence that minor as if they did something wrong. Next would be to behave like people are making mountains out of mole hills. Next would be to retreat to business as usual. Next would be to stifle anyone who attempts to correct the problem. Next would be to hope for the best with little to no action taking place. The absolute worst thing you could do would be to wring your hands, complain about the upheaval in your church and keep doing what you’ve always done.
My hope is that this incident is handled with transparency and courage. I hope the parents rally around their children and truly make them a priority, not just in policy and word, but true ACTION.
Crystal, I like your idea of a watchdog group…but for that to happen you have to believe a couple of things…1. There is something worth protecting (children) and 2. There is a threat to the safety of what you are protecting. I’m not sure the parents think there is a threat.
You may know this, but the Kansas City case in 2011 was much more evil than that. Bishop Finn got a letter about Ratigan being a pedophile from a school principal’s memo in May of 2010. In December of 201, they found a computer with hundred of pictures of child porn on Ratigan’s computer, including pictures Ratigan had taken up the skirts of many 5-10 year old girls.
Instead of going to the police, they called a police friend and lied. They asked if a picture of a naked 2 year old relative was child porn. The policeman said no. In fact, the picture was the last in a staged series of a 2 year old girl doing “strip tease”, with full, exposed genitals in the last picture.
They sent Ratigan to a psychiatrist who determined he wasn’t a pedophile (what?), and sent him back, where he was supposedly restricted from children, but went to many events, unsupervised, around the same children.
In May of 2011, the church finally contacted the police. Bishop Finn has spent well over $1 million (documented) to keep himself out of jail.
BOTTOM LINE: Catholic parents – you’re on your own protecting your kids. God couldn’t make it clearer through a wealth of information that the Catholic church protects their pedophile priests better than you can protect your children.
Patrick, didn’t the diocese also give the computer with the photos to a relative of Ratigan’s….fortunately someone had downloaded the data, prior to its being ‘passed on.’. another case of ‘ predator passing one, with a degree of separation?
As Jerry often says, you can’t make this stuff up!
Patrick I am not arguing your points. What happened was the principal sent a letter describing what are termed boundary violations-it wasn’t followed up. The result was what then unraveled over the next few months. This speaks to exactly what we have been discussing on this thread -boundary violations and who is in charge of consequences -and what are the consequences. Often boundary violations are things which do not involve local law enforcement but are violating the policies which are supposed to be in place. Boundary violations often don’t stay in that category they usually escalate which is why so many have focused on this on this thread.
Patrick, Finn was a protege of Rigali’s in St. Louis, as was our new “American Pope”, Cardinal Dolan. The apples don’t fall far from the tree.
Jerry, how about this addition to the bottom line for parents, from a purely “secular” angle… As the truths are exposed in court and on TV, about our Archdiocese and its schools, all Catholic education will be viewed as inferior and ridiculous to the on-looking public. – No longer the once-proud, resume-builder we knew –and paid good money for.
Kathy, the school principal sent a 4 page letter saying Ratigan had been accused by multiple parents of lifting girls over his head to look up their skirts, taking pictures up girl’s skirts, and having children reach into his pocket for candy and change.
Catholics call that a boundary violation. Catholic priests call it “grooming” the children.
Even if that wasn’t followed up, 7 months later, a computer tech found the child porn, and said he started shaking when he saw it. Catholic priests don’t even get phased by it anymore, so when they lied to a police friend, the police friend wasn’t suspicious. I don’t know the specific KC laws, but there are a lot of charges there, and it cost Finn over $1 million of parishioner money to get out of it. Catholidiots.
Joan, yep, Bishop Finn gave a computer full of child porn, which is evidence in a criminal case, to Ratigan’s family. Ratigan’s family said Finn forced it on them and they didn’t want it. Finn said they asked for it. I get an opinion, and I’m guessing Finn is lying.
Jerry, all bishops fell from that same cowardly, cold, heartless tree.
“The Catholic church doesn’t care in the least
if they left your child with a known pedophile priest.”
– from the book of Bevilacqua, Rigali, Cistone, Finn & 5,000 more
So many good comments and questions from this original post. We will post something shortly where people will have a chance to ask their specific questions regarding child protection ,better to be proactive then reactive.
I would like to see the AD answer these questions on this site…….
Kathy and Patrick, Reuters did a very thorough reprise of the Fiin, Ratgan porn situation in KC in Dec 2011…..here is the link. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/03/us-usa-priest-abuse-idUSTRE7B20HC20111203
And in the last few hours since I posted the 10,757 ‘hits’ in the last 5 days on C4C, there have been 605 more ‘hits’.
The Catholic Church is not God’s Church.
It dos not embody the God I was taught about, ironically by the same institution. It is an organization of men (and women), and thus has all the flaws of every other organization run by men or women, whether it be the mafia, a government or a worthy charity.
For centuries we’ve been told to believe (often ridiculous and/or hypocritcal) claims from this institution without question and if we dare question the existence of God, or the church’s teachings about God, we were dammed. Sadly, after 37 years as a Catholic I’ve come to the realization that they are no better than the lunatic muslims in their castigation of innocous questions of faith.
The lengths to which the church has gone to hide the behaviors of these men is yet more more example of the hubris these men have had for centuries.
I’d love for someone from St. Timothy’s parish to tell us the exact procedure that parish & school put into place in order to comply with the directives handed down from OCYP & OCE, laid out in the Technology Addendum, which was presented to school and parish personnel at the end of the school year 2011. Note: According to OCYP, this policy went into effect on July 1, 2011.
How were situations handled wherein a parent refused to give such permission?
Charters, directives, policies ……all about as useless as signs. Unless you’ve got people who obey them and people/procedures to enforce them, they are useless as preventive measures.
I am a parent from St. Timothy’s and they do in fact have every procedure in place and does follow them to the letter. I am amazed that all of you who know nothing of our parich or our scholl have so much to say when you know nothing. NOTHING!!! You are a bunch of loud mouth people who have nothing better to do with thier time. Get a life and join a real fight because you have seriously missed the boat. People, including priests make mistakes. We are all falliable. We we are supposed to do in times like this is eemmulate Jesus and not cast judgment. What are you all doing? Jduging. Pathetic. People who live in glass houses ought not to throw stone.
Hi Dorothy, Until very recently, my great Aunt, a SSJ was at St. Tim’s. Your pastor immediately called the Archdiocese to inform them that Father had violated the boundary regulations (after it was revealed on this site). That’s what should happen. The majority of people on this site aren’t concerned with judgement. They are concerned with the protection of children. That’s the real fight.
Dorothy ,I think Michele was asking a question not making an accusation. The texting communication of a minor was something that opened up a lot of questions about the technology addendum. My kids are in catholic school and I need to find out this info myself about how this form is used-or if it has been implemented at the schools at this point. I know from having worked for 6 months on having a policy implemented with the Archdiocese concerning child protection, that I was oblivious to many of the policies or lack of policies that existed. Also important is how or if the policies are enforced on parish and school levels- all parishes and schools in the Archdiocese.
We are not Jduging.
You have a very self righteous attitude and are very protective of a known drunk driving, druggie, hooker hunting, child sex victim attacking pinnacle of your church.
The Catholic church needs to be monitored by law abiding citizens who have a smaller threshold of forgiveness and a higher level of punishment than you and the Catholic church. If everyone was as forgiving as you of the drunk driving, drug driving criminals of the community, the community would be a dangerous place for everyone. We are entitled to protect ourselves and others (especially children) from the best that your church has to offer.
Thank you for sharing Dorothy.
I can see how much you love your church.
You are right. I don’t know St. Timothy’s the way you do.
What I do know is that you if there is a priest texting a minor, (given the circumstances and situation in the AD at this time) then some loopholes exist with the system in place at St. Timothy’s.
I see a lot of good that can come from this situation, IF people are able to see this as an opportunity rather than a situation that has to be defended.
Neil this comment is being pulled. I have no idea whose children’s name you listed in your comment but it is entirely inappropriate and we will not have anything like that on this site. I contacted Susan and this comment will be removed.
You’re right, Dorothy. I have nothing better to do than protect children and vulnerable people from predators. I’m glad you understand that. Also, if your willing, please contact me Victims4JusticeNow@yahoo.com, my name is Rich, we’ll exchange phone numbers and we’ll discuss this issue like a couple of adults. 🙂
By the way, my little brother went to St. Tim’s school and my mother taught there. I know a bit about it.
St Timothy’s School is great!! I have full confidence that every procedure are followed as they should be. People judging our school without knowing anything about it are just wrong!
This is sad that our school and parish are being drug through the mud.
As a parent, I would be alarmed to know that my child was text messaging with ANY adult. But Stef is just about legal age and I hope can make decisions for himself.
Yeah CAL you’re right (LOL); “…Stef is just about legal age and I hope can make decisions for himself.”
Too bad he wasn’t receiving texts from Vatican City, because he would have been well over the legal age there!
“Red Hot Catholic Love – At Twelve Years’ Old”
“Vatican State has its own criminal system based on the former Italian criminal code (called “Zanardelli Code”, issued in 1889). Art 331 (1) of this code provides that the age of consent is set at 12 years old, but according to Art. 331 (2) when there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student/ etc.) the age of consent is 15 years.” (The Atlantic)
BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO on that link!
St. Tim’s parents naturally want to defend their school. …..Caths4change want the AD to be reliable and accountable for the safety of children ….I’m resentful of those who have made conflict necessary at all.
I agree with you, Dorothy. This website is full of misinformation. Pathetic. Prostitution? The charge was DUI. In lower merion, drinking a shot of NyQuil will get you a DUI. .08 doesn’t matter there. The author describes Fr. Andrew as a bullying thug. Oh yeah? I would like her to describe how a soft, fat dude with poor balance, yes I’ve seen him stumble around on the altar, rough her up. And please describe how he spoke. Not the words. How did they come out? Dorothy, you will understand what I mean. And what a racist description of Irish people. Classy. The author of this site sounds delusional.
John, You don’t have to take our word for it. Here is the statement from Archdiocese as relayed in the Catholic Standard & Times. Get your facts straight. The author of this particular post is a male survivor of clergy sex abuse. And this survivor happens to be Irish himself. We hope that Father McCormick is getting the help he needs.
Archdiocese issues statement on Father McCormick
At approximately 5 p.m. Friday, March 2, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia learned that Father Patrick G. McCormick was arrested Feb. 23 and charged with patronizing a prostitute, according to a statement by the archdiocesan Communications Office. “This information is deeply troubling,” the statement said.
It explained that Father McCormick informed the Archdiocese on Feb. 24 that he had been arrested the day before, but that the charge was driving under the influence.
Father McCormick was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese in 1996 and currently is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Timothy Parish in Northeast Philadelphia. He has been placed on administrative leave, according to the statement.
Cal, the questions that came about after the “texting” were not an attack on St Tim’s but more a questioning about the tech addendum policy that went into use in July 2011. Are these forms used at schools? What happens if the tech boundary rules are broken? All the things that parents of children in any Catholic school should know -not just St Tim’s. This could have happened anywhere,at any school in the Archdiocese.
As for the texting with Stef, I continue to see that as a red flag. I realize at 17 ,that is close to legal age,but it doesn’t matter if age 12,15,17 a minor is a minor and I would not be comfortable with my 17 year old texting with adults especially given the arrest a week prior. Just not okay.
I was talking about this situation with a friend recently. Take Fr Pat out of the equation. If a neighbor was arrested for soliciting prostitution and drugs,lied to his family saying he was arrested for DUI and then after the arrest was texting a minor in the neighborhood- in most places the neighborhood would be up in arms. Things somehow take on a different feel however when it is a priest involved. Again,I am not saying this about Fr Pat personally,I am using the examples of what happened in his situation. I have seen this happen at other parishes.Something that might greatly upset a parish if it was a teacher or coach,sometimes is reacted to as a lesser infraction if it involves a priest
Kathy, I agree with you. I would not want my minor child involved in private “talks” with any adult. I’m unaware of these forms. My child is only seven though, this may be something that applies to older children. Even still, I do not think it is appropriate for any adult, priest, teacher, coach etc to be involved in private talks about the adults the wrong doings. I understand the point you were making. Priest have always been held to higher standard and they should be. They should also be held accountable for their actions.
This whole situation has really bothered me. I was unaware of any past history of Father Pat. All I knew of him was that he is kind and caring and loved in our Parish. To hear these things deeply affect me. I have had many issues and questions regarding the Archdiocese. From the sex abuse to the school closings. It’s a hard time to be Catholic. I have had to defend my faith too many times. And all this Father Pat stuff really hit home.
Defending your faith is very different than defending the priests and bishops who run your church if they don’t practice the faith.
I know that there is a difference between defending my faith and the clergy that have done wrong. But some people don’t. Some people I have encountered feel that…if you are Catholic and still go to Mass then you are supportive of everything wrong within the Church. Which is not the case…for me at least.
Patrick OMalley stated, “Defending your faith is very different than defending the priests and bishops who run your church if they don’t practice the faith,” and he’s right!
CAL this may sound condescending (not intended to be), but you are naive when it comes to how the Church works, and how predators operate.
Many of the priest offenders are sociopaths. On the surface they come across as great guys, but in fact are silver tongued devils. Unless you have a complete background check, please watch your step.
CAL, I know the animation at the below website seems crass, but it is also instructive. Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s the condition of our Church.
I do not believe that I said Patrick was wrong. And if I came across that way to Patrick, then my apologies.
Please do not tell me that I am naive. It seems to me, that all you want to do here…is tell people that they are wrong and argue. Which is NOT what this blog site is about, from my understanding.
Do you do complete background checks on every person you meet? You should!! Many people come across as great and then turn out to be criminals. This is everyone not just priests. I will not live in the state of paranoia that you seem to live in. I meet people and get to know them, before I make decisions about them. I do not make assumpations about people based on what other people like them do. Sterotyping? For lack of a better word.
So, I will not judge my neighbor on what my other neighbor did. I will not judge other blog commentators based on comments that you have made.
Also, I will not watch your videos about “love at 12 years old’.
You stated, “Please do not tell me that I am naive. It seems to me, that all you want to do here…is tell people that they are wrong and argue.”
Fair enough, you seem to be a reasonable guy, but I believe that you are ‘new’ to this site. So just a little background, I do not enjoy telling people that they are wrong, and do not desire to be argumentative. I do however try to be stir matters up a bit to shake some people (Pew Catholics) out of their complacency.
I was in religious life and seminary for a number of years; what I saw was not pretty, and for children it was without question dangerous.
You’re right we can’t do background checks on everyone we meet.
But as far 12 years olds’, “Vatican State has its own criminal system based on the former Italian criminal code (called “Zanardelli Code”, issued in 1889). Art 331 (1) of this code provides that the age of consent is set at 12 years old, but according to Art. 331 (2) when there is a relationship of dependence (like teacher/student/ etc.) the age of consent is 15 years.”
I believe that we need a canon lawyer to explain what this really means in the Church today.
I am a reasonable woman. My background is this…mother of 3 kids. We are Catholic, my husband is not. I was raised Catholic in the sense of my parents paid tuition for me to go Catholic school for 12 years. My Catholic faith is a result of my work on it. A result of my going to Mass on my own and that continuing in my adulthood. So I do not feel as though I am complacent or a pew Catholic. I am not someone who just out of habit or family tradition has come to the Church. I have chose this myself.
I have had issues with the Church. But I have realized it is not the Church that is bad…it is the people that make up the Church…the priest and bishops. At the end of the day they have to deal with God.
The others are right about the background checks…just a piece of paper. Paper that doesn’t really tell the truth about the person. But now Father McCormick will not pass the background check, thanks to the PPD for that.
And yes I am new to this site. The Father Pat story brought me here but I have found my interesting topics here. I have learned a bit here.
Still not sure about the 12 years….the Italian law is from 1889? Quite some time ago, no?
Welcome to the conversation Cal. I wish drwho shared a little more of his background with you. He is actually responsible (with the help of another priest) with reporting a pedophile priest who is now in jail.
Obviously many people who comment have very strong opinions, it is a scary topic,the thought of children being abused stirs many emotions. I do hope that everyone can be respectful of the new people commenting on the site. I was rookie at this one year ago and the first people I met responded with patience and understanding that I was struggling with my faith and more importantly the thought of children being harmed within the Church.
Kathy is correct in stating “…many people who comment have very strong opinions, it is a scary topic,the thought of children being abused stirs many emotions.”
While there are disagreements involving strategies, the goal of the people on this site is to improve the protection of children, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
During the exchange of ideas things may become a bit heated, but the individual almost always receives the respect that all children of God are entitled to.
That being said, there is the occasional “crackpot” (which Susan and Kathy keep in-check), don’t be bothered by them. As for not being “…sure about the 12 years…the Italian law is from 1889?” I’m not either.
Welcome to the blog!
Thank you for the welcome. I find this site very interesting.
Drwho…I am glad I followed my heart and didn’t judge you based on you trying to get a rise out of me. I waited and got to know you (as much as I can over a blog comment) and have now realized that you are decent person.
Kathy & Susan,
What procedure has your parish, parish elementary shool, and child’s high school put into place in order to comply with the directives handed down from OCYP & OCE, laid out in the Technology Addendum, which was presented to school and parish personnel at the end of the school year 2011. Note: According to OCYP, this policy went into effect on July 1, 2011.
Did you sign a form giving permission for adults in your parish or child’s school to contact your children via electronic means, as required by the Information and Communication Technology Addendum?
Just for the sake of stirring the pot…background checks
Most of the priests that raped our children would pass a background check with flying colors because they’ve never been charged with a crime. Thank you bishops.
drwho….I believe canon law has changed on the age now. Not sure.
Survivors wife. I had a conversation with a law enforcement officer that changed the way I think of background checks -not in relation to priests -in relation to anyone. He made the excellent point that the majority of people who pass background checks are decent people but there is another group that is child predators who have yet to be caught and most people who abuse children are not caught by authorities until many children may have been harmed or at risk. I always notice this now when I read articles about any child sex abuse whether it involves public, private or catholic school.The statement from the school saying the clearances of the person did not show any problem -exactly they had not been caught yet.
As for abusive priests clearing background checks. A priest that was removed within the Phila. Archdiocese because he was a danger to children ended up as a middle school teacher at a local public school. His background check was clear as a bell-he was never prosecuted -nothing shows up on a criminal background check.
Background checks are good because they keep known prosecuted predators away from children but no one should trust their child’s safety with a piece of paper.
Think of it in terms of this analogy -someone may have at one time driven after having a few cocktails-maybe legally they were over the limit -but they were never pulled over. Just because they don’t have a DUI on record doesn’t mean they have never driven drunk.
Probably will be spending a few hundred dollars for background checks and fingerprinting for my family. Both my wife and I have been involved with education since the 70’s. The checks are for my kids and possibly my wife. Minumun wage is paid in Central Pa for many child care positions and my wife works part-time at best. Have to travel across three counties to get fingerprinted. Both my wife and I can’t drive because of a stroke and her effects of her cancer meds. So I don’t appreciate the burden I need to pay out of my small persion because of what these people did. Can imagine how many others like my mom who must spend money for these checks every year to work with children
Talked to my daughter’s department chairman and told him I disagreed with him that the child abuse problem is new. Had a little discussion and recently a retired prof at that University was arrested for child porn. Told my catjholic church I was not about to get background checks because of the abuse that has occured. I could imagine tell a woman watching her child afraid that she would lose another child to SIDS to sit down and not to cry in my arms. Or tell the child leaving camp to stay a foot away and not hug me.Yes, each of these times I worried that later some other person would take advantage of these and other persons I met as a religious – that was in the 70’s. It is important to protect children, but I’m telling my kids to be careful when these young children come for a hug, I shave my beard around Christmas to prevent kids from thinking they can sit on my lap, and try not to make eye contact because I know I’ll have some kids talking to me
Because of a few priests ministry has changed and I am angry about that. Giving sex education talks to at risk kids put me a few positions that I understand as a parent couild be risky, but realize when kids tell me they can’t get AIDS because they aren’t gay and have 30 kids corner me in a classroom and ask how can they get AIDS from smoking a joint – commercial for the 90’s, I know it is important to address sexuality and boundary issues, but does the AD understand by withholding this information hurts not only their vocation effort, but also all who really care for children.
V4J, I expressed before to you (internet meeting)a good friend was left by WOAR alone in court in the 70’s.She is very upset at being raped but more upset at those who refused to help her when she was brave enough to face her attacker (found not guilty). The judge also blame several of therape victims in court and the police refused to allow the detective to accompany her to court. It hurts and probably get a note when she reads this of how much it still hurts.The detective did contacted her, and she appreciated that. I didn’t know her at the time.