Rogue Catholic priests: a weekend roundup
Reverend Richard McCormick, 71: Pleaded not guilty at Essex Superior Court in Massachusetts yesterday to five counts of raping a boy in 1981 and 1982. McCormick, of the Catholic Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco, was described by the prosecution as a ruthless predator who singled out the boy for repeated sexual assaults while McCormick ran a summer camp, called Sacred Heart Retreat House, in Ipswich, MA. McCormick, who went on to become the leader of the Salesian order for the eastern US, has already been sued by nine people he allegedly sexually assaulted as boys.
(Hat tip: Mark Richards)
Rev Tom Brennan, 74: This Australian priest was arrested and charged yesterday with two counts of failing to disclose a serious crime relating to alleged child sex offences committed by defrocked priest John Denham against two boys in the late 1970s.
The offences allegedly occurred at St Pius X, Newcastle, NSW, where Father Denham was a teacher and Father Brennan was school principal.
Father Brennan was charged with assaulting the two boys by caning them after they allegedly reported being sexually assaulted by Father Denham, now 70.
Brennan is also charged with eight counts of sexually assaulting a boy, 8, at a Newcastle church in 1984 and 1985, and two counts of assault.
The charges were laid only months after international publicity over the first American conviction of a senior Catholic priest for hiding the child sex crimes of another priest.
Brennan will appear in court on September 25.
In Newcastle Local Court on March 9, 2009, Brennan was convicted on a charge of making a false written statement, saying that he could not remember a series of child sex-abuse complaints (in the 1970s) about other clergy. The magistrate placed him on a 12-month good-behaviour bond.
(Hat tip: Bill Murray)
The Rev Benedict Groeschel: This New York Catholic priest was forced to apologise for saying this week that clerics accused of child sex abuse are often seduced by their accusers, and that first-time offender should not go to jail. Groeschel, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. The website for the conservative independent Register then removed the story and posted an apology for publishing the comments, as did Mr Groeschel and the friars.
(Hat tip: BarrieJohn & Canada Dave)