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NEWS
August 8, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
ONE OF THE sleeper pleasures of 2011 was "The Guard," pairing Brendan Gleeson and director John Michael McDonagh in a comedy about a crafty Irish cop. Now they've reteamed for "Calvary. " This time Gleeson's an Irish priest, and if you've seen the unforgettable poster (the cross on the priest's chest is comprised of bullet holes) you understand this movie is not so funny. The first scene is a corker - Gleeson takes confession from an anonymous man who reports that he was abused as a child by a priest, and now will take revenge in one week's time by killing one. The twisted twist: He doesn't want to kill the offending priest, or a bad priest.
NEWS
August 4, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
It's the picture of innocence: a country priest in billowing cassock, strolling a rural road in Ireland's windswept West, encountering a young girl, chatting with her about this, about that. But then her father pulls up in a car, and angrily summons her. With an utterly vilifying look, he warns the cleric off. "That scene encapsulates everything the movie is about," says Brendan Gleeson , the Irish actor who plays Father James, a good priest in a bad world, in John Michael McDonagh's stormy tale of reckoning, Calvary . "It's a powerful, troubling, funny moment," says Gleeson, a familiar face in big Hollywood pictures ( Edge of Tomorrow , the Harry Potters )
NEWS
July 26, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Rev. Thomas Shawn Tracy, 74, an Augustinian priest in Villanova known for his singing and songwriting, died Sunday, July 20, of congestive heart failure at Lankenau Hospital. Father Tracy was a gentle, low-key man who saw the Scriptures as poetry, and whose special gift was in setting music to that poetry, and later in creating music as an accompaniment for quiet contemplation, said his nephew Michael Dolan. Thrust into the New York folk scene of the mid-1960s when he was assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Father Tracy became a spiritual troubadour.
NEWS
June 24, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Part two of three parts. Capt. Kenny Schwartz was convinced that William J. Gray was "the Jogging Rapist. " This is the guy, this is the guy. How do we hang him? He assigned a crew of cops to Gray. "We woke him up in the morning, and we put him to bed at night, watching, watching. He knew we were there. "And he was never gonna rape again. " Police began showing his victims a Polaroid of Gray that he said had been taken illegally by Northeast detectives. A 14-year-old girl who had been assaulted on Erdrick Street on May 18 said Gray was the man. On Dec. 10, Gray was arrested in connection with her attack, charged with attempted rape, robbery, assault, unlawful restraint, and indecent assault.
NEWS
June 10, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
    ARCHBISHOP Charles Chaput announced yesterday that a monsignor could return to ministry because allegations that he sexually abused minors 20 years ago were "unsubstantiated. " Chaput said that Monsignor Joseph L. Logrip is "suitable for ministry," although archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin said that his "return to active ministry is not immediate. " Logrip, 67, had been placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 grand-jury report on sexual abuse by local priests.
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.
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