Suspended Philly priest is charged with sexual assault

Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O’Reilly and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writers

One of 26 Roman Catholic priests suspended from ministry last year for possible child misconduct has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in a Northeast Philadelphia church in 1997.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 56, was arrested at his parents’ Pottstown home Thursday night. He was ordered held on $150,000 bail at an arraignment Friday.

District Attorney Seth Williams said at a news conference that McCormick had started “grooming” the boy in the fall of 1997, while serving at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg, and sexually assaulted him that December. He said it appeared that the priest had groomed a number of altar boys there, and he urged any other abuse victims to come forward.

At the time of his suspension in March 2011, McCormick was pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Bridgeport, Montgomery County. He had previously served at St. Adalbert’s in Northeast Philadelphia and St. Bede in Holland, Bucks County.

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