Accused Predator Bishop Belonged to Controversial Order

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
July 17, 2009

[Society of the Immaculata]

He's a former Legionnaire, an extreme group under investigation

Its founder is accused of molesting dozens of boys & fathering a child

Based in CT, a secretive Vatican probe of the organization starts this week

A Long Island priest who is jailed on child sex abuse charges was once a member of a controversial and conservative Catholic religious order that is under investigation by the Vatican.

Dennis Michael McCormack calls himself a bishop. He performs Catholic mass in Latin at a rented hall. According to his website, he attended a Connecticut seminary run by the Legion of Christ, a Catholic group whose founder is accused of molesting dozens of boys.

Earlier this year, the order admitted that the founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel, had also secretly fathered a child.

McCormack's website says "In 1986, he entered the Legionaries of Christ, in Cheshire, CT. Due to his love for the True Faith and the Traditional Roman Rite of Mass, he left the Legionaries and continued his studies in other seminaries more faithful to that aim."

Yesterday, the Vatican's formal investigation into the secretive Legion began.

"Several bishops have forbidden the Legion to work in their dioceses," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis. She's the national outreach director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "It's a very extreme group with a troubling track record, from the top on down."

Dorris said the current Legion leadership should disclose whether there were allegations against McCormack when he was a Legionnaire.


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