Witness Didn’t Experience a Hallmark Moment


Click here to read: “Witness says priest’s conduct made him ‘uncomfortable,'”  by Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 5, 2014

Excerpt: Adam Visconto read the card to the jury. On it McCormick wished the boy luck in an Easter church pageant, apologized “if I did anything to hurt you,” and asked for contact when the boy felt he was ready.

Adam Visconto read the card to the jury. On it McCormick wished the boy luck in an Easter church pageant, apologized “if I did anything to hurt you,” and asked for contact when the boy felt he was ready
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140305_Witness_says_priest_s_conduct_made_him__uncomfortable_.html#MLjf4yBCYPLjwHMJ.99
Adam Visconto read the card to the jury. On it McCormick wished the boy luck in an Easter church pageant, apologized “if I did anything to hurt you,” and asked for contact when the boy felt he was ready.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140305_Witness_says_priest_s_conduct_made_him__uncomfortable_.html#MLjf4yBCYPLjwHMJ.99
Adam Visconto read the card to the jury. On it McCormick wished the boy luck in an Easter church pageant, apologized “if I did anything to hurt you,” and asked for contact when the boy felt he was ready.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140305_Witness_says_priest_s_conduct_made_him__uncomfortable_.html#MLjf4yBCYPLjwHMJ.99
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16 Responses to “Witness Didn’t Experience a Hallmark Moment”

  1. “Phillip Blazejewski testified that as a 7th or 8th grader during a trip to Poland with McCormick he was allowed to drink beer, though he could not recall if he got drunk.”
    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140306_Priest_tells_jury_he_is_no_child_molester.html#oZfpKyLigE2CeUC5.99

    *******

    “5. DRUGS: Predators use drugs and alcohol to attract children and weaken their resistance. This makes them vulnerable to molestation or attack.”

    http://heidisearchcenter.com/about-lures-why-they-work/

    Giving Alcohol to 7th or 8th grader- Was it 7th or 8 th grade or only a survivor needs to be exact in their testimony. Sure would remember a trip to Poland and what grade I was in. Not blaming the witness – actually may not remember myself, just upset at the high standard set for the accuser on certain details during a traumatic experience. looking at the priest’s underwear, bought most of the soda. Understand an abuser will know a favorite soda and purchase it themselves.

  2. Am I the only who feels there is another victim in this case ?

  3. I just want to caution on making any assumptions about witnesses..they are not the accused or victim in the case..they are simply taking the stand to recount situations to the best of their ability. Some may have had good experience with McCormick..some bad..I do not want to delve into anything that is not being testified to in court. They deserves their privacy.

    • Kathy, didn’t mean that this person is a victim. Just that alcohol is used as a grooming technique – priest, friend, relative or stranger. The witnesses are being honest and used modifiers in their statements. Don’t think giving alcohol to minors should be tolerated because of the developing brain. Not all priests that give young adults alcohol are abusers, just this one has been accused and alcohol is used to groom kids. Sure the kids saw this priest as cool and he hasn’t been proven guilty. Thank all the witnesses for their honesty. Yes, I trusted a few priests that are convicted or named as abusers – very disheartening.

      Thank you for the clarification As always delete my post if it is a problem.

      • Ed, I agree about the alcohol absolutely. I was not referencing that at all..I just want to make sure that we focus on the actions of the defendant..why was he hanging around with kids? No worries ,you and I are on the same page

        The men in these articles are witnesses…..I am not putting them under a microscope and hope that others won’t leap to conclusions either based on what they read.

        The boys at my parish growing up had a wide range of experiences with the abusive priest ..some fine experiences..some odd encounters..some abused. Some had very odd encounters but were not abused and are not victims.

  4. Katherine FitzGerald Reply March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Speaking of the relationships that form between priests and boys…

    Just sickening is the longstanding practice of matching a young man who is discerning a call to the priesthood with a priestly spiritual advisor. The diocesan practice, naively welcomed and supported by the families of the young men, is a trap. The young men are vulnerable, impressionable, and often confused and overwhelmed. Spiritual advisors have no training whatsoever to deal with the young conflict, indeed many are weighed down by their own conflict. In an extremely private and insular climate, young men are indoctrinated, manipulated, coddled, loved, “wined and dined,” deemed “special,” and generally introduced to and promised the sins of clericalism. The practice amounts to the cultish brainwashing of defenseless young men. Particularly effective spiritual advisors who have a knack for reaching and winning boys, especially in this dwindling priesthood era, can expect to see their careers soar.

    This practice is one of the most toxic yet off-the-radar dysfunctions in our Church.

    • Kate,

      “The Symposium”

      “Plato uses the dialogue to expose his theory of love. Each participant, by means of very personal expositions, that in some instances are thought to be parodies of the speaker style, adds something to a body that at the end is developed by Socrates. The love to which the participants make reference is mostly a homosexual love between men.

      Pederasty in ancient Greece was a socially acknowledged erotic relationship between an adult male (the erastes) and a younger male (the eromenos) usually in his teens” (Wikipedia).

      “The young men are vulnerable, impressionable, and often confused and overwhelmed. Spiritual advisors have no training whatsoever to deal with the young conflict, indeed many are weighed down by their own conflict. In an extremely private and insular climate, young men are indoctrinated, manipulated, coddled, loved, “wined and dined,” deemed “special,” and generally introduced to and promised the sins of clericalism” (kate).

      “The Symposium” by Plato was required reading (and guide book?) in one of my pre-theology classes.

  5. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140306_Priest_tells_jury_he_is_no_child_molester.html

    The latest article from this morning. The jury will decide guilt or innocence..my verdict is..strange… all of it. Like a peek into a culture where men hang around with kids and no lightbulbs go off that it might not be the most mature ,healthy thing to do.

    I give a lot of credit to the Mom back in 2000 who pulled her son from his friendship with the priest. This was pre Boston..pre Philly GJ reports..and she made her concerns known to another priest. That can make someone a pariah in many parishes. She seems to be one of the only people in this scenario who realized that some things were odd.

    My friends and I often say that now looking back as adults ,as parents, we realize that mature healthy people do not hang out with kids..actually in most adult leisure time we run the other way;) People can be great teachers, excellent coaches and spend a lot of time with children but free time should be with adults and healthy relationships/friendships. As my friend who has coached for years said that he loves every minute, but after practice does not want to see or hear the kids until the next practice..he isn’t hanging around with them.

    It is all just so odd and sending the card to the young boy apologizing for any for any hurt and asking for contact when the boy felt ready. Why? why contact this child? why give the other boy money for beer?
    So props to the one Mom who over a decade ago realized this was not healthy for her young son.
    The jury will deliver a verdict..thankfully these cases are now making it to court like any other case of child sex abuse..one thing is for sure,these cases are not easy.

    McCormick was already suspended by the Archdiocese in 2011 prior to this arrest. Obviously if he is found guilty he will be removed..if found not guilty then the Archdiocese has to decide his future as a priest.

    • Kathy, with trials, appeals and retrials, who would a parent turn to if they want to testify of grooming or other attempts against their child by an accused priest?

      http://archive.delawareonline.com/article/20100813/NEWS01/8130338/Clergy-abuse-Delaware-Victims-testify-hurt-betrayal

      “DeLuca was convicted in New York in 2007 of abusing a child and was sentenced to 60 days in prison. He was defrocked by the church in August 2008.”

      I know that at least one of the 157 survivors did contact those he felt responsible for the abuse in the 70’s & 80’s and made sure they knew he would continue to watch them. There are many heroes in this struggle. Many contact authorities and their pleas fell on deaf ears. That was before, we need to continue to support the survivors and those who are working to expose abuse. I hope those who know this mom are supporting her.

  6. Katherine FitzGerald Reply March 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    We waited a year for them. Our hopes were high. But Francis’ words, yesterday, on the issue of sexual abuse, managed to stun and knock the breath out advocates, scholars, writers, and victims. SNAP, Voice of the Faithful, Patrick Wall, NCR, Tom Doyle, and Bilgrimage are just a few of the people and organizations who have put forth statements decrying the Pope’s defense that “no one has done more” than the Catholic Church to address the issue, and that “the Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility… Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”

    Last month, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child sharply denounced the Church’s handling of sexual abuse.

    How many papacies will it take before someone changes the sexual abuse lightbulb?

    Three papacies and your out.

  7. When one needs to pat themselves on their own back thinking they did a job well done means no one else feels the same way.

  8. Just more of the same. I really thought that Francis had potential. He seems to be a caring man. He cares for the poor. He cares for the sick. He cares for the disadvantaged. He cares for priests. But he obviously doesn’t give a damn about victims of clergy abuse.There will be a pull back in the next week or two. He will try to explain away his lack of caring for abuse victims. But then he will go back to doing what the Church has being doing for a very long time. I just cannot believe that he can look at the clergy abuse crisis and not see the fallacy in his statements this week. Where has he been living for the last fifty years? The Hierarchy has done all in its power to deny, lie and coverup the senseless sexual abuse of children. He seems to be more of the same.

    • Katherine FitzGerald Reply March 7, 2014 at 12:53 am

      You would think that the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Children would have immediately, today, reiterated his findings against the Vatican in a world-wide, public statement in order to assert its confidence in its findings and illuminate the ongoing Vatican denial.

  9. In my opinion, if a person is compassionate and caring for the vulnerable, it would naturally extend to ALL of the vulnerable – especially children. It doesn’t make sense to be compassionate and caring 95 percent of the time and then do the opposite the other 5 percent of the time. Maybe it doesn’t cost him anything to be caring to the poor, the sick and the disadvantage. It would most certainly cost him much to confront the sexual abuse.

  10. I continue to wonder:

    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,276841,00.html

    Was that an r or pg-13 rating at that time as opposed to when it came out on video. After reading about the Society of St John where was that traditional Latin mass? The Latin mass is beautiful and reading about the Society of St John I wonder, think St Gregory school operated between 1993- 2012. So many questions besides the alcohol and inappropriate card even visits to the bedroom of a priest.

    Guess if the church came clean and worked with the survivors and the families of the victims there may be some trust, Just found out that the church can’t staff the two RCC churches in my city. They still don’t understand – as the witness related, he was thinking of being a priest.

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