The Deacon's Bench

In a rare move, a priest who has been cleared of charges of sexual abuse is taking aim at his bishop — and others — in court.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

A priest at St. Vincent College filed a libel suit Friday in Westmoreland County against officials of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese and St. Vincent College, alleging they falsely accused him of being a pedophile even though he was exonerated by state police.

The Rev. Mark Gruber, who is a tenured professor, sued Bishop Lawrence Brandt of the diocese; Benedictine Archabbot Douglas Nowicki of St. Vincent Archabbey; former college president H. James Towey; Dr. John Smetanka, dean of academic affairs; and Dr. Gary Quinlivan, dean of the business school.

Also named as defendants are Don Orlando, director of media relations for St. Vincent, and Eddie Dejthai, director of information technology.

In his lawsuit, Gruber alleges that Towey and Nowicki triggered a criminal investigation of him after pornographic images were discovered on a computer that Gruber used, which was in a common room where he taught anthropology.

Brandt and Nowicki suspended Gruber from celebrating Mass or administering the sacraments as well as teaching, despite a state police finding that Gruber had not committed any crime.

During a follow-up investigation late last year, another individual “confessed” to accessing child pornography on Gruber’s computer, according to the suit. The man told troopers that “Father Mark did not ask him to take the blame for the incident” and he understood he could be charged with a crime.

Despite the revelation, officials refused to reinstate Gruber to his duties, according to the lawsuit, and he refused an order by Nowicki to undergo psychiatric treatment at a special facility in Maryland that treats pedophile priests.

There’s much more at the link.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus