Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sue the cappa magnas off 'em...

Fr. Gruber and Abbot Nowicki

Bishop Brandt

Priest sues Bishop and Archabbot for libel.
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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.

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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.
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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. 
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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. - Full story.
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As the pendulum swings:  Over-reaction.

12 comments:

  1. This is pathetic, tragic, and sickening. I'm not sure who's guilty of what here, but to stir more crap around and cause even more public scandal for the Church is inexcusable. If Fr. Gruber is indeed innocent (I don't just mean legally but profoundly innocent of those charges in a way that he and only God could know), then certainly I can't blame him for wanting to clear his name of those who may have jumped to conclusions. I just wished that he went about a different way of doing it than to cause even more public scandal with this infighting. Shame on single one of these individuals.

    This is no different than "Catholics" who sue the Church for millions for abuse they sustained, but still calling themselves Catholics.

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  2. Terry: I just tagged you. you're IT!

    http://adorotedevote.blogspot.com/2010/09/top-ten-surprising-things.html

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  3. I have absolutely no idea of what is going on here...
    but I'll just say this (knowing too much about other situations and not wanting to spill the beans, so to speak)...good for him (the monk) who stood up for himself; if he is innocent, as he says, and as the reports indicate that he is, he SHOULD sue the pants offa whomever was responsible for libeling him.
    Does anyone have the concept of allowing someone to "have a good name" anymore?; we're 'Oprahed' and 'Jerry Springered' to death...all kinds of everything can be said, screamed and accused; it doesn't matter if it's true or not.
    Okay, my rant is done.
    If this monk had child porn on his computer because he put it there, chuck him.
    If he's being libeled, the authorities ought to be properly disciplined.

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  4. Serious comment: Yes, I'm glad he's suing. The problem is that priests are considered guilty even when it's clear they are innocent.

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  5. Over-reaction, YES. Unfortunately with all the lawsuits from victims we now treat priests as guilty until proven innocent.

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  6. It appears that there was some internal politics going on. Is this becoming the easy new way of getting rid of someone perceived as a problem?

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  7. I thought about St. Gerard who remained silent when he was accused. But Gerard's accuser publicly recanted and his superior publicly begged pardon. Back in the old days that was enough. Today I say, good for you Fr. Gruber, sue 'em. He'll never be really free until this thing is done with and in America, that means until the check is cut.

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  8. Dymphna - I thought of St. Gerard as well - but I agree that in our day and in this country, a priest falsely accused needs to defend himself from scandal. As it stands, enemies of the Church accuse every priest without cause now anyway - so publicly defending one's honor, one's priesthood and profession seems to me to be appropriate. I'm surprised the abbot and bishop were so willing to sacrifice this priest by throwing him to the dogs.

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  9. Charis Aquilla6:37 PM

    I know Father Mark Gruber personally and I know with how much agony he has come to this decision. He gave his adversaries every chance to settle with him out of court and they simply ignored him. He waited until the last moment of the statute of limitation (1 Year) and then reluctantly filed the suit. I hope that he wins the case, not only for his sake but for the sake of all other good priests who suffer as he has from ecclesiastical careerists who care more for their own reputations than for the welfare of their priests.

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  10. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Fr. Mark Gruber did everything he could to resolve this out of court. He was left with no other choice than to file suit. Put yourself in his shoes. What if you were wrongly accused, and even after someone else came forward to admit the wrongdoing, you were still being persecuted? You would fight to clear your good name!

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  11. John of12:05 PM

    This (planting child porn on a work computer) is, in fact, the new and trendy way of getting rid of a whistle-blower in ANY organization--a business, a branch of government, or a university. In this case. Fr. Gruber was a whistle-blower during the presidency of an abominably below-par president at St. Vincent College. The president, Mr. Towey, who was George Bush's Director of Faith Based Initiatives, apparently decided to use DC - style political slander on Fr. Gruber. Notice that the law suit is not just against the Abbot and Bishop, but also against the former president of St. Vincent and his nepotistically appointed Vice President.

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  12. Reviewing the case shows that the police from the beginning had strongly asserted that no crime had been committed on the computer and that no one person, yet alone Fr Mark, could be definitively connected to any of its browsing history. The defamation lies in the fact that with exactly the same data, the college administration alleged criminal pornographic activity as only the work of Fr Mark. While the state police alone had the expertise and authority to ferret out true criminal offenders, the college administration had only an agenda without appropriate skills or forensic authority to destroy the life of someone they deemed their enemy.

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