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NEWS
April 21, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON TWP. The Rev. John Stabeno calls his Monday-night meetings a sobering dose of "reality. " In the basement of St. Charles Borromeo, dozens of drug addicts and alcoholics and their family members meet weekly to vent, cry, laugh, and smile. Stabeno, a 14-year priest in the Diocese of Camden, says he tries to keep it real himself - right down to his attire. At a recent meeting, he wore loose jeans and a T-shirt as about 60 people gathered in a circle. "He's not just a priest," said Rich Bilo, 26, of Deptford, who on this warm spring night had reached 38 days without alcohol with Stabeno's assistance.
NEWS
April 18, 2014
IN THE HIERARCHY of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me. While I love St. Bernadette with her story of mystical vision, it's St. Maria Goretti - the child who surrendered her life to protect her purity - who animates my faith. St. Therese of Lisieux is an example of the glory we can find in small things but the Little Flower doesn't inspire me like Joan of Arc, who died in a maelstrom of fire. And while St. Francis of Assisi with his gentle ways is a hero to our current, beloved pope, I'm drawn to St. Sebastian, a Roman soldier who paid for his conversion to Christ in a barrage of piercing arrows.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
SOME MEMBERS of a Philadelphia jury answered the prayers yesterday of a Philadelphia Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s. After deliberating 4 1/2 days, an unknown number of jurors refused to convict the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57. Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright declared a mistrial after the jury forewoman reported that the nine women and three men were hopelessly deadlocked on five of the seven charges. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp announced that her office intended to retry McCormick, and Bright set a scheduling hearing for April 28. During jury deliberations - which began last Thursday - McCormick at times was spotted in the courthouse hallway praying with other priests, nuns and supporters.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia judge Wednesday declared a mistrial in the sexual-assault case against the Rev. Andrew McCormick after a tired and despondent-looking jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked. Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright's late-afternoon ruling came an hour after she urged the jury of nine women and three men to try once more to resolve differences and reach a unanimous verdict. "Nothing has changed since your last charge," read the forewoman's note to the judge.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury is to resume deliberations Friday in the case against the Rev. Andrew McCormick, a Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Bridesburg parish in 1997. The jury of nine women and three men spent three hours Thursday reviewing the evidence before going home. McCormick, 57, is charged with sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, child endangerment, and corruption of a minor. Earlier Thursday, the jury - and a packed courtroom - heard emotional closings by defense lawyer William J. Brennan Jr. and Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Accused Catholic priest the Rev. Andrew McCormick took the witness stand in his defense Wednesday and denied molesting any altar boys, telling a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury: "I want to convince you of that. " Agitated and blushing, at times talking over questions from his lawyer and the prosecutor, McCormick, 57, denied the allegation by a 26-year-old man, who said the priest sexually assaulted him in 1997 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. John Cantius in Bridesburg.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting an altar boy in 1997 was suspended from ministry in 2011 after he twice gave deceptive answers during polygraph tests when asked about touching children's genitals, a prosecutor said yesterday. The revelation about the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, was made in court by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp. It was made following the closing arguments by defense lawyer William J. Brennan and after the jury had been escorted from the room.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
HIS FACE turning red yesterday, the Rev. Andrew McCormick turned toward the nine women and three men who will decide his fate and blurted out: "I want the jury to know that I never molested [a former altar boy]. I want to convince you of that. " Moments later, when asked by defense lawyer William J. Brennan if he had ever molested any of the estimated 700 altar boys he came in contact with over 14 years at a Bridesburg church, McCormick, 57, was succinct: "Never," he said, bringing his lawyer's brief questioning to a sudden conclusion.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After three days of prosecution testimony, the sexual-assault trial of Catholic priest Andrew McCormick moves to the defense Wednesday with the priest's lawyers saying they have not decided whether their client will testify. On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp completed her case in a day dominated by a former Bridesburg altar boy's conflicted testimony about his relationship with McCormick. Adam Visconto, now 27, told the Common Pleas Court jury that McCormick was an influential spiritual mentor at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ten years old, trying to accept his homosexuality and cope with his parents' imminent breakup, the young man was thrilled when "Father Andy" asked him to be an altar boy. "I thought it was great, I thought he was like my friend," said the now 26-year-old man. And it was great, until one night after an evening Mass in December 1997, when, he said, the Rev. Andrew McCormick took him to his bedroom in the rectory, undressed him, and tried to force...
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