No Holds Barred In Priest Videos

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No Holds Barred In Priest Videos

As if the Catholic Church doesn't have enough problems, a Pennsylvania priest has created a wrestling web site that would even embarrass Vince McMahon.

Featuring hundreds of photos of young men (some of whom are minors) in nothing but clingy Speedos, the so-called Junior Professional Wrestling Association is the brainchild of Rev. Glenn Michael Davidowich, the 38-year-old pastor of St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church. Davidowich's web site offers 50 separate videotapes--at $20 a pop--of matches between young men using names like HardKore Kid, David Goliath, Sven, Latin Heat, and Bad Brad (you could be excused for mistaking those monikers for porno star handles).

Accompanying the sales pitch are scores of suggestive photos showing young men--often with their legs splayed--in a variety of, um, unorthodox wrestling positions. None of the grapplers is wearing headgear, traditional wrestling singlets, or even shoes and socks. In fact, many of the videos and photos appear to have been taken in a rec room.

If we didn't know better, TSG might think Junior Professional Wrestling Association products were geared towards an audience other than amateur wrestling aficionados. Chicken hawks, for instance.

According to a description once carried on Davidowich's web site, "From our humble beginnings, the JPWA now has over 70 wrestlers, ranging from fourteen-years-old to thirty-something, most in the 16-25 age range." But the reference to underage performers has been dropped from the current version of the site (likely triggered by recent complaints from parishioners and a local newspaper story).

Pennsylvania Department of State records show that Davidowich--who did not return TSG phone calls--incorporated his for-profit wrestling outfit in March 1999. Two months later, Davidowich, the firm's president, registered his web site's URL, giving the group's address as the Allentown home of his parents. The group subsequently amended its articles of incorporation to register as a not-for-profit group.

One previous news update on the site--posted by the group's webmaster--noted that "Glenn and I handle all the production duties of the site of the JPWA on our spare time, by ourselves." Another news item reports that since "Glenn Michael has returned from his vacation," distribution of videotapes would resume immediately.

Davidowich's surname does not appear on the current version of his web site, where he is ID'd in one photo as simply "Glenn Michael." That picture shows the priest posing with Tomas Mejia, a young California man crippled in a 1994 auto accident. The priest's web site claims that the wrestling group was founded to help provide financial assistance to Mejia and his family: "A portion of the proceeds from our sales are donated to the Tomas Mejia Fund. The Mejia family has no insurance and insurmountable medical bills. The JPWA Family invites you to join them in support of the Mejia family with a donation to the fund."

According to Davidowich's site, the Tomas Mejia Fund is run by James Curran, a Catholic priest now stationed in Georgia. Curran--who apparently met the Mejia family during his many years in southern California--has recently claimed that the charitable fund closed last year and was not certain how much money was donated to it by Davidowich's group (whose web site claims to still be donating money to the Mejia fund).

But the charity itself does not seem to actually exist, according to the California Attorney General's office, which has no record of the organization. Davidowich's site claims that donations can be sent to Curran care of La Purisima Catholic Church in Orange, California. But the church's pastor, Fr. Val Roman, says that Curran is not affiliated with La Purisma and has used the church's name without permission. More importantly, the Mejia family contends that they have not received any donations as a result of the sale of wrestling videos or via donations spurred by either priest.

Curran, who declined Monday to answer TSG questions about the Mejia fund, also happens to be a low-rent wrestling impresario.

Until recently, the 61-year-old priest ran a company selling videos of young grapplers as well as California high school wrestling matches. Curran's video titles included "Back To School," "Class Act," "Butt Kickin' in the Barrio," and "Diablos Backyard." Like Davidowich, Curran's web site--which also included young beefcake photos--claimed that his company was founded "with the sole purpose of generating funds for the Tomas Mejia fund."

Curran's wrestling business and the Mejia fund, records show, shared the same Placentia, California post office box. Until relocating to Stone Mountain, Georgia, Curran was assigned to St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Placentia.

The priest listed the church's address as the business headquarters for Con Ganas Sports Entertainment when registering the firm with California authorities in 1999. And when he obtained his wrestling site's URL--which was registered to the Mejia fund--that same year, Curran listed St. Irenaeus as the registrant's address. The Curran wrestling site has since been abandoned, with its final posting coming last year. It offered the resume, of sorts, for a muscular California man.