New Orleans Archdiocese's List of Credibly Accused Clergy Grows by One Name
By Ramon Antonio Vargas
December 24, 2019
A Catholic priest who held a prominent position with the Salesians of Don Bosco before being convicted of raping boys at a Massachusetts camp has been added to a list of clergy who served in the New Orleans area and are strongly suspected of molesting minors.
Richard McCormick’s name recently appeared on a section of that roster naming priests who served within the Archdiocese of New Orleans and were faced with abuse allegations elsewhere.
McCormick was assigned to St. Rosalie Parish from 1991 to 1992, two decades after his 1970 ordination, according to the watchdog website bishopaccountability.org. He’s been accused of sexual molestation and other misconduct before as well as after his time at St. Rosalie.
Archbishop Gregory Aymond in November 2018 first disclosed the names of 57 clergymen in the New Orleans Archdiocese who were removed from ministry over claims of child sex abuse that the local church deemed credible. That roster was issued months after the Catholic Church’s long-running clergy abuse crisis was reignited in the wake of reports exposing numerous undisclosed cases involving priests and other religious personnel across the country.
Aymond’s list has been revised a handful of times. The addition of McCormick brings the number of names to 64.
McCormick was a teacher or director at Salesian retreat houses, boys’ camps and various schools in Massachusetts, New York, Indiana and Florida throughout his career. In the six years before his time at St. Rosalie, he led the New York-based office, or Eastern Province, which supervised Salesians in New Orleans and many other places.
But the Salesians removed him from the ministry in 2009, after the order agreed to pay a financial settlement to three men who alleged that they were students at a junior seminary in New York in the 1970s when McCormick subjected them to sexual abuse.
That was seven years after McCormick resigned his teaching position at a Catholic high school in St. Petersburg, Florida, where a female student complained that he “cupped his hands around her chin and kissed her,” according to a newspaper story at the time. Around the same time, the Salesians paid a financial settlement to a man who claimed he was a 14-year-old student at one of the order’s high schools in Indiana in 1975 when McCormick molested him on a trip to Rome.