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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Fr. Joe's Wall of Shame - Will Our Lady of Grace in Aurora ever get a truly Catholic Shepherd?

A few months ago, we reported on the situation at Our Lady of Grace parish in Aurora, Ontario in the Archdiocese of Toronto. The Pastor, Father Joe Gorman, was asked to take some time off after certain irregularities were discovered. Our sources indicate that repeated requests of pastoral care by the Cardinal Archbishop to this man were rebuffed. He has now made his decision. In a letter to the faithful of the parish, Thomas Cardinal Collins wrote that, “Unfortunately, Fr. Gorman has declined my requests to participate in the proposed path of reflection and has recently informed me of his decision to leave the priesthood."

Joe Gorman was on the "fast-track" since being ordained in only 2008 and clearly on the preferred team. The Gorman family is prominent in the Aurora and Newmarket area with significant business holdings and even municipal facilities named after the family. He was considered by Toronto's Catholic Register to be a "popular priest." 



At Gorman’s request a letter was distributed after Mass this weekend wherein he states:
“I first want to thank you for all the good wishes and support you have shown me over the last number of months,” said Fr. Gorman in his letter. “I love this parish. It is such a community of faith, I loved being a part of it. As your Pastor, I was always in awe of how you ministered to each other. You literally lived our Lord’s message of faith, love and peace. It was so inspiring to me. This journey we have been on, and I say ‘we’ because it affected all of us, has not been easy, but after a lot of prayer, thought and family support, I have decided to leave the priesthood. My heart and my mind are made up and I am happy with my decision. It is my decision and mine alone. Although I will miss seeing the parishioners of Our Lady of Grace on a daily basis, I feel truly at peace with myself and with God. Life is a gift that is meant to be lived with great love and faith, and always with hope. My hope for you is that you will continue to live your life in faith and love, and care for one another as you always have.”
This poor parish and the people of Aurora have suffered the presence of a previous Pastor who sodomised boys in the rectory and an Associate Pastor who was one of Canada's most notorious sodomite pederasts protected and covered up by Emmett Cardinal Carter in both London and Toronto.

Gorman spent his homilies on sports, allowed dogs in the sanctuary and did his own thing at Mass. It was the Father Joe Show! He misdirected intended funds from the collection plate to unauthorised charities, he performed an invalid marriage in the Church of two Catholics not able to marry and he even presided at a "marriage" in an Anglican Church of two Catholics and then forged the register to indicate that it was someone else. He broke Canon and Civil Law. We should ask why the Anglican layman in a priest collar could not perform the supposed "nuptials." Was there something in particular about the couple that this Gorman would have done such a thing?


There are many questions that the people of Aurora, and indeed Catholics in general in Toronto need to ask their curia:


Why was Joe Gorman ever ordained to the priesthood? What went wrong at St. Augustine's Seminary that the issues that presented themselves only seven years after ordination were not seen? What formation was there for Joseph Gorman on the issues of ecclesiology and obedience?  What test was made of his vocation to begin with? 


Another question is this:


Will the suffering faithful of Aurora ever get a truly Catholic pastor who cares more for the Lord and their souls than their own narcissism or the evil desire to sodomise children?


33 comments:

Brian said...

"...I have decided to leave the priesthood..."

Good riddance! I wish other priests just like Gorman would leave as well. How do these guys get ordained???

Fox said...

The Vox and I had this conversation earlier today... If they had been offered a seminary life including proper formation, some might have realized that they DO NOT in fact have a vocation to the priesthood. But there is hope. There are strong faithful young men in currently seminary. We must pray for their continued devotion and increased strength. May God bless them abundantly.

Aloysius Gonzaga said...

...the Catholic Register was praising him? Enough said.

Aloysius Gonzaga said...

That "several thousand" parishioners in that area support him, is also troubling news. He broke canon and civil law concerning marriage and then he lied about it. If there are several thousand people in that parish who can't understand why that is gravely wrong, then we have another crisis on hand besides the issue of this individual priest.

Matthew said...

Sad to see this happen. He has lost his way. I agree believe that his is a most unfortunate situation that has taken place - especially to have this take place on Vocation Sunday. I am however disappointed with the article here and the two comments before me. Charity gentlemen... charity!

Anonymous said...

Fr Joe was an amazing priest who truly cared about the parishioners of OUR Lady OF Grace. To the Vox; who do you think you are? Are you a saint of some kind? Wow, you are an hypocrite, Jesus said that those who are without sin should cast the first stone, are you without sin? Regardless of the haters, there are always haters, even Our Lord, who was God had haters, Fr. Joe was to most people who attend Our Lady of Grace an amazing priest, he brought joy into peoples lives, he deeply cared about reaching out to people in need, just like Jesus did. Not matter what you haters say, we love Fr. Joe Gorman the priest, and I am sure the great human being that he is. Our Lady of Grace is a very sad place, and the proof is that masses are half empty since Fr. Joe left, we miss him terribly.

Vox Cantoris said...

My, my, my. You are being judgemental aren't you, calling me a hypocrite. And I'm a "hater" too? So, now not only are you a rash judger but you are calumniator too.

Sadly, he was not a good priest no matter how "amazing" you think him to be. If he were, he would not have broken Canon Law, Civil Law and disobeyed his Bishop. He would have humbled himself and taken up his cross and whatever therapy or counselling that our more than patient Cardinal offered him.

I've said it before, you people in Aurora have a lot to learn.

I can feel your anger.


Anonymous said...

Vox I am not angry, I am sad that Fr. Joe was humiliated in such a despicable manner and put in the same category as sexual offenders, the bishop wanted to send him to a catholic institute where they treat priests with a variety of issues among them the horrible sin of committing sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is not a problem that can be treated in an institute, it is a crime, a horrible act of violence against another human being, a very immoral sin, sexual offenders should be put in jail and not place in an institute where they can go free to repeat such despicable acts. Fr. Joe's transgression pale in comparison to this kind of act, he does not deserve to be treated like these criminals.

The people of Aurora don't have to learn anything, the people in charge of the catholic church need to learn that sexual abuse is a CRIME and the priest who commits these crimes needs to be punished and needs to pay like every other mortal, not protected.

Please use your blog for the common good and stop acting like you are owe the truth.

Did you ever had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Joe, if the answer is no, then stop bad mouthing him, people absolutely love him, priest or no priest they will love him still.

Vox Cantoris said...

It is a very sad situation for him and the parish and the Church in Toronto. However, he brought it on himself.

1. He attempted to perform the sacrament of matrimony in the church to two people not able to marry. This invalidated the sacrament and left the persons that night to commit fornication or adultery.

2. He presided over a "marriage" of some sort in an Anglican facility and then forged the marriage register.

Aside from the relatively minor financial irregularity, these two are quite serious. They violate Canon Law and Civil Law in Ontario.

I am not "bad-mouthing" him, I only stated the publicly known facts. He decided, as I understand it, to leave the priesthood.

YOU should be more concerned about the fact that the people of this parish have suffered from holy and zealous pastors of souls for decades including sexual deviants there decades ago and covered up.

It is not me that you should be angry with.

Let's move along.

Brian said...

Could it be, that Fr. Gorman has become the actual object, of worship? This phenomenon of the stage show priest, quasi Al Jolson, is common in the modern liturgy. Sadly, the unique miracle, during the consecration, is largely ignored, or at least, has to share the stage, with the likes of, you guessed it, Fr. Gorman. The spell, of "Fr. Cool", or "Fr. Nice", or "Fr. Amazing", is ubiquitous, and traditional laity, as well, are not immune to it.

"Obedience (Lat., ob, near; audio, hear)means submission to the will or law of one who exercises authority; to the Will of law of God, to the laws of the Church; to a lawfully constituted superior , civil or religious..." A parish priest is bound to obey Canon Law. It seems that Fr. Gorman has chosen to listen to himself, even though he made a promise of obedience to his bishop. With such contumacious behaviour, and refusal to accept a "time out", offered by his Archbishop, it may be best that he leave the priesthood. Perhaps he can bring his talents to a line of work where he answers only to himself.

Anonymous said...

He is doing very well now, head of ethics and spiritual care at this new hospital http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Joe-Gorman/-1844077509

Anonymous said...

And he is still performing weddings.

Anonymous said...

Well, my family Liked Father Joe, until he made a crack about my mom having a seizure in the church......anyways, we wish him the best in his new life....performing marriages? Yes, the church was affected by his sudden departure but he would not take responsibility......for his wrong doings....the church is now full....it is not 1/2 empty.....as you say......we go to mass for Jesus, Yes Fr Joe could be quite funny, entertaining, but he is not as saintly as you say...we supported him and hoped he would return but he needed to accept responsibility instead he chose to just leave the priesthood.....anyways, we hope the best for him....thank you...glad he is doing great:) and people who left the church were going to the church for the wrong reasons.....it was not about Joe Gorman (he was very funny AND SO ON....)

Anonymous said...

well, just to update those who choose to judge...the church is 3/4 full and we need to pray for Father Frank and Joshua who are trying there best....as for Joe we wish him the best he chose to leave the priesthood and my family hopes he is very happy and at peace.....and for those who chose to leave the church I will pray for them too.....yes, Joe was charismatic and did good but he made the chose and us in Aurora go to mass for Jesus.....Joe and Father Joseph (who came right away when my dad was dying at the end of February) are humane made errors, we need to move forward and pray for them all.....I find this sight very judgemental.....we are all sinners even the Pope says he is a sinner.....we all need to forgive and pray.

Anonymous said...

last comment, I promise, and those who were offended by Father Scallion's dog he/she was probably more behaved than most of us....there we go ....this dog was a lab, now those who complained about a elderly priest's dog really my family found it enduring, the dog was behaved than move of us at mass.....anyways, were need to move forward, my dad passed in the midst of this whole thing and Father Joseph came right away he got there 1/2 hour before my dad passed and I am sure Father Joseph was stressed my family never got to thank him before he was moved from the parish.....people need to move forward.....it was hard on everyone....thank you God Bess....to everyone..Thank you Father Joseph Pham, we never got to say thank you, the drama at the church was too much.....

Anonymous said...

Well, "joe's biggest error" was treating people with differently, he was more than happy to help, recognize those who were special, rich and powerful...the rest he didn't think about.....Father Scallion collapsed going up to the alter he was spread over the stairs I at first thought he had a heart attack I left my pew thinking I may need to do CPR, but he yelled, I am ok, we did not see him for a while and Joe mentioned oh he had a spill I have not called him, this was shocking to me, I am like this man was in your life since you were a child and you could not call and speak to him see how he was....also, I was at Christmas Eve mass the church was packed and this is the first time I saw father Scallion since his "spill", he was confused I was sobbing, the church was full I felt so bad, and Father Joe thought it was hysterical and Father Scallion said I think it may be the drinks that Father Joe gave me....careless......Father Joe's friends thought it was funny too, I could not stop weeping....he should have been left as a associate pastor......anyways, we will move on, much happened at OLG, yes he meant well and gave us a few laughs.....and hopefully he will grow and be a better person from this....obviously he has not suffered much....

Anonymous said...

well hopefully this experience has made Joe a better person, I remember my family did not feel the same about him after my mom had some sort of seizure in the church and the paramedics had to wait outside until he finished his mass...meanwhile I was hysterical the elderly lady behind me was comforting me and the usher who kept making sure I was ok, and don't tell me the nurses in the church did not see what was happening my reaction was very public, he decided to stop on his way down the aisle and all of a sudden nurses coming over to Joe to assist, his reaction, " the paramedics are outside". well at least he held my mom's hand give him that but we kept her out of the mass for summer since as he said "too cheap to fix the a/c" and her first day back he decided as the procession entered the church stop and say to mom, next time you want to faint go outside.....unbelievable and he is now working in a hospital.....my mom had almost died in January and this was before this incident.....never seen such insensitivity....we wish him well, we do not understand why he became a priest...anyways, I will move forward....just still in shock, my poor mom was so embarrassed when he made his "joke"...so those who adore him, you adore him because he treated you well.....he is immature, insensitive and should have never been a priest.....

Anonymous said...

Well, we do pray he has grown from this experience.....no one cares anymore and those who left the church do not know the truth I did express myself to the Cardinal even though I liked Joe as a person, he had his clergy respond and say, we are sorry for your bad experience, "please pray for Father Joe"....I felt upset when he was removed but now see why, he was too immature and self absorbed.....we once asked him to bless some religious articles and him and his friends were rolling their eyes...what priest does this.....hopefully he sees his errors, he also didn't treat all children the same, if you weren't important you didn't get the high five when he left the mass...anyways, enough said apparently the vacuum at the church is 50 years old (I volunteered to clean the church at Easter and Christmas) the pews were falling apart.....he should have been left as a associate pastor....we do hope the best for him....it is very sad people decided to leave the church...they do not know the whole truth as my family does not either....Anyways, it is over and forgotten and hope we can put it behind us, pray for Father Frank and Father Joshua and the parishioners of OLG.......and those who have decided to not come to mass because they are angry....they need to remember Joe made his choice he was given options to make him a better priest but took the easy way out, he is a very likeable person...as a priest I don't believe he should have ever been a priest he was most likely groomed from a young age to be a priest, and hope he will find his happiness in life.....

Anonymous said...

Fr. Joe was removed from OLG, he was used as a scape goat, for a few peccadillos. There were other more serious problems in another church in Newmarket that were ignored completely, and the cardinal chose to go to Ireland (under the pretence that Pope Benedict send him) to clear some sexual abuse by priest over there.
After that the cardinal was more interested in going to Rome to get the prestigious title than to get to the bottom of what was going on in Newmarket. The new caretaker (I don't call him priest because he does not deserve the dignity of priest) scandalized us all with what he did. The chancery know very well about this, but they decided to do nothing about it and let him destroy the church.
But because Fr Joe did some errors the cardinal wanted to send him to a facility for pedophiles.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, life goes on http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=12947

clementcrock@gmail.com said...

A Typical Homily by Father Joe Goreman

At the end of the gospel reading, Father Joe struts in like a quarterback heading onto the field. Halfway up the aisle he moves into a light jog. He waits impatiently for the reading to be done, then he finally takes his place before the altar. He looks around, smiling at the kids, a finger point to an old hockey buddy, a thumbs up to a 93 year old lady, and then he does it, he removes his left hand from his alb and reveals to all what he's been hiding all along: a cute little brown puppy. The congregation reacts with delight: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh".
"Look at the puppy", cries out one woman.
"A puppy. I want a puppy!", cries a 5 year old from the front row.
Father Joe begins: "You heard the gospel. You all heard it. The face of God. Moses saw the face of God, Philip saw the face of God, and all of you here in this small village in the town of Ontario have seen it too. This is the face of God. Look at God's face."
The people respond with delight: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That's so beautiful." Another woman sitting on the side next to the statue of Mary cries out: "That's so true. I've been waiting so long for the Church to say that".
Father Joe continues: "And all the smiles I see on your faces right now, yes, right now I say, if I had a mirror I'd show you, your smiles are the faces of God. Someone asked me the other day: "Father Joe, do I have to go to Church every Sunday?" I said, show me a picture of your mother, and she did, and I said: "There's the face of God. Will you see her on Sunday?" "Yes, she lives with us", said the young lady. "That's Church", said Father Joe. "You've gone to Mass. This puppy is what we're all about. Your smiles is what we are all about. That baby screaming down in that back row is what we are all about. We're not about sin and damnation and rules. Do you know all the rules, because I sure don't." Father Joe looks at an old man sitting in the front pew: "Can you list the corporate works of mercy or whatever they are? Can you list the three precepts of the Church? No? Neither can I."
Father Joe looks over and recognizes someone: "Hey, that's Dan on the guitar. Dan and I used to play hockey together. Remember, Dan? Remember when I checked you into the boards and it took you 10 minutes to get up off the ice?"
Everyone laughs, or almost everyone.
"Ah, ya wimp. Glad you switched into music."
Laughter fills the air.
Father Joe takes the dog and hands it to a little boy. "There you go. Merry Christmas...or happy birthday...whatever it is...Christmas is not for another few months. Early Christmas present. Give me a high five!"

continued on next post

clementcrock@gmail.com said...

"Slap", rings out, followed by laughter and joy.
"Now if that puppy does anything, you clean it up, okay?" More laughter. "Otherwise Father Pham is going to have to do it". Followed by roaring laughter.
Father continues: "I have to keep this homily short, because I am tired. Yesterday I did 8 funerals and 3 weddings and 4 school Masses. This morning there were all these messages on my answering machine. Everyone wants me to do their funeral, wedding, or sick calls. They can't find priests who will answer their phones, and if the priest does show up to the funeral, he tells them that their loved one is probably in hell, because she didn't go to Church every Sunday."
The congregation responds with horror: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" "Oh, dear", "Oh, my". "That's so awful".
"And besides, the Cardinal calls, and when he calls, you have to drop everything and go, and he calls me all the time, because he trusts my judgments, which is why he made me his chief advisor. And there I am, sitting around a table with old grey haired bishops who looked like they're were ordained during the time of the Great Depression, 1856. After three minutes they are sleeping."
More delightful laughter.
"Do not forget what we're about. We're all about joy, laughter, family, you over there, and you little slugger...give me five...(slap), and all of you. This is faith. This is Mass. This is Eucharist. This is us. This is what Jesus came for."
He then jogs towards the back, jumps up like Michael Jordan and slaps the exit sign, hugs a married woman for 10 seconds, while so many sit there smiling. Father Pham, for some reason, looks as if he's been shot through with 120 volts of electric current, a family with 8 or 9 children who haven't missed a Sunday or weekday Mass in 15 years look as if they have all been given a slap on the face, but other than that, many people are relieved to know that they only need to return when that warm feeling leaves them and they need another charge from the Joe Goreman battery of great preaching.

Anonymous said...

I honestly cannot believe someone is replaying what Father Joe said in the church (they must have been making notes or recording). Honestly, I feel for people who judge so harshly. Joe Gorman has a good heart and liked to laugh, it was never during mass it was after mass, what is wrong with people who think there is something wrong with laughing. I we suppose to sit and be gloomy......the jokes were never made during the mass that I would find disgusting. I would prefer to be around Joyful, caring people, rather than judgemental, critical obviously unhappy.

I agree the Cardinal made a huge mistake, sexual abusers in the church have been treated better than Joe Gorman. Anyways, time to move on, my family hopes that Joe Gorman is doing well.

I pray that all who judge find a more loving heart. God Bless!

Llewellyn Lamaca said...

I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Gorman while he was a seminarian in St. Augustine Seminary during a come and see event. We were paired up and I opened up how happy I was during the discernment that I no longer did things I used to do. I am not ashamed about what I did but if I wanted to tell everybody then I would write a book or blog every detail. Apparently all the seminarians "GOSSIPED" about all their conversations to the vocation minister (was the pairing a pretense of sharing but really a gathering of information; did they think we would not be honest if we were asked?) .

It affected my application. I repeatedly got in touch with Joe why discretion was not applied. He never left a message; I had to chase him to talk. I asked whether their discussion was to "HELP" us. He said with nonchalance that "NO" and that they just talked. He was not even apologetic for his indiscretion.

I talked to his Dean who happened to be Father Mike McGourty (very helpful that I still remember his name fondly). He said if I am troubled by the decision of the vocation minister because of what was shared about me then I can always discuss with his superior.

And I talked to Archbishop Thomas B Collins. (Yes, if you make an appointment, he will see you.) I recounted every detail. He gave me good counsel and reassurance like a true shepherd. Discernment led somewhere else. I was healed by the betrayal. Let God dispense with justice.

I was not surprised with what happened to Joe. Was I happy? Let us just say that God is truly justice. I could not have come up with more appropriate than what happened to him. He did himself him by his inherent and true nature--I do what I do and unapologetically.

But the funny thing was some of his current defenders knew what he was going (article from Catholic Register and the Star). The not-so secret pilfering of money and giving to the poor. Just make an announcement, people will give. Don't steal. Was that too hard? Yet they still want him (I guess if it is in their favour (ie. getting to be married where they wish)--good or bad--that is always ok; I say never with the latter).

"Charm is deceptive" and this is why charlatans and awful people get away with worst. They use their charm to hide their true self. He might change. Time will tell. But this was definitely redemption to all who have been wronged by that person.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that. All who were involved with this need to take a good honest look at why they were deceived by this man. And don't be too sure that money was given to the poor. Apparently, during a homily, he announced to the congregation that he has a new 22,000 dollar smile. Dental work. Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I feel sad for you, you are not very good.....there are many in the church doing terrible things, Joe was to my family doing his best to be "good", my family will never step foot in the OLG due to recent events....God will judge not us......"Do not judge and you will not be judged".....I feel disgusted with this church not because of Joe but for more than other reasons.....and fools who blame Joe Gorman are fake!...I will pray for you, this church should be condemned....God bless, will pray for anyone involved in this church!

Cindy McNicholl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

well I was hoping to be anonymous but not possible....I am in a program at Our Lady of Grace, one person was distressed about Joe's demise which doesn't seem to be hard on his part, apparently, he is now getting married..this person that knew this was in distress...I had to remind her that Joe Gorman decided to leave the priesthood and he is now going to be happily marry, he should have never been a priest, unfortunately he did as there are many people suffering because of him and many left the church because they believe he was unfairly treated...trust me people, he is not suffering.... he really cared about no one but himself..I wish him all the best and I must say the drama and pain he caused in the parish (many have not returned to the church) he is not suffering he will be in marriage bliss....I DO HOPE THE BEST FOR HIM AND PRAY THOSE WHO WERE AFFECTED BY HIS ATTITUDE RETURN TO THE CHURCH, I DOUBT HE CARES ABOUT YOUR SUFFERING......

Anonymous said...

WELL, i believe the most affected for the females of the church he was a flirt to some.....anyways, he is now marrying after leaving parishioners in distress (many who left their faith)....he will have to answer to God one day, hopefully his marriage is blissful.....he cared about no one!

Ferociter Romanus said...

The big question: is Joe Goreman getting married to a man or to a woman? If you know the man, the odds are 50/50.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am female and personally didn't care about his flirting I pretty well ignored it, I actually found Father Joseph Pham a wonderful priest. Funny, not all found Joe charming my family thought he was phoney.
Anyways, I prefer to wish people well and hope things work out for Joe. Interesting post, odds 50/50? (I didn't really know him) so I couldn't make a comment about that. OLG seems to be in good hands now and if people chose to leave their faith because of a priest it is sad, I mean I never go to mass for a priest (who is human like the rest of us). Think people got confused! Gosh, I would not want to have to explain to God how I got so many people confused!

Anonymous said...

one more point "joe" was not that cute...so whoever female, male who idolized them I really pray for them....he is a big phoney.....but I do hope he finds what he wants in life......cannot believe so many were fooled by him....and his "high fives", honestly, I find it disrespectful to the church when he holds a "collection for Southlake & Rose of Sharon" in December (btw local paper was there too), apparently, he wants to do this yearly, this is a disrespect to the catholic church, OLG has a program for helping those in need, as an ex-priest I believe he should not be causing this kind of scandal in the community and if he continues down this path I am sure he has a lot to explain to God.....this pub is right across the street from the church, he should be ashamed of his actions......anyways, I will not speak of this again, I hope he does the right thing and quietly live his life and stop causing parishioners confusion....he definitely has a big ego and to think he was holding a charity fund at King Richard which is right down the street from the church and had the newspaper there is sickening....if he loves his faith he will not continue along this path but will quietly live his life in humility......

Anonymous said...


well, I have learned more, apparently from parishioners his family was behind the media..now he is getting married, congrats Joe.....He was raised to be a priest and it wasn't for him...this is now old news, but to think people can enter the priesthood when they have not really had the call. I am sure more went on then I KNOW
and others know.....I DID like him as a person but he made the mass about him....I have never experienced this in my faith.

Anyways, Father Frank is wonderful....so despite those who left the faith (because they were mad Joe left I will pray for you, you were fooled)