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Former seminarian Anthony Gorgia

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New York, February 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A former seminarian is suing Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Archdiocese of New York for $125 million, alleging that he was prevented from returning to his studies at an American seminary in Rome because he witnessed the Vice-Rector inappropriately touching another seminarian.

Yesterday an attorney for Anthony J. Gorgia filed a lawsuit on his behalf with the Richmond County New York Supreme Court. The suit names Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan; the Archdiocese of New York; Fr. Adam Park, the Vice-Rector of North American College (NAC); Fr. Peter Harman, the Rector of NAC; Fr. John G. McDonald, a lecturer at NAC; and several John Does. Gorgia says that as a seminarian he was defamed, discriminated against for his heterosexuality and spinal condition, and harmed financially and emotionally.

Gorgia shared his allegations about the Vice-Rector with LifeSiteNews by email in July. According to the lawsuit, the event described occurred near the beginning of his second school year at NAC, in 2018.

“An initial inappropriate behavior I witnessed on the part of Father Park took place on a Sunday when seminarians were not required to be present on seminary grounds,” he said.  

“On this occasion, I witnessed the Vice-Rector, Father Park, approach a seminarian from behind and initiate 'back massage-type' motions on the seminarian’s body,” he continued. 

“I believed this action by Father Park to be totally inappropriate, and I had a surprised expression on my face which I was aware Father Park noticed.  I became more concerned when this seminarian came to me on his own and told me of physical contact Father Park had made described as ‘hurtful.’  The seminarian’s disclosure alarmed me for reasons such as that there was a dynamic of power such that Father Park had direct control over whether or not this seminarian could become a priest.”

LifeSiteNews was unable at the time to find corroboration for this story, and neither Park nor anyone else at NAC then responded to our requests for comment. 

According to the lawsuit, Gorgia frequently saw Park singling out young men he perceived as “athletic, handsome, young and naïve.” Other seminarians told him that they found his “repetitive social interactions strange.” One told Gorgia that Park had “harassed” him with “repeated uninvited physical contact” and that when he objected, Park “taunted” him until the seminarian left NAC. The seminarian did not want to make a complaint to other NAC authorities “because of their close relationships to one another.” 

On October 17, 2018, Gorgia was summoned to a meeting with the seminary Rector, Fr. Harman, to take place the following day. Harman told Gorgia that Fr. McDonald, his formation advisor, had brought him two criticisms: that Gorgia didn’t like to try new things and that he “presented himself as ‘an old man.’” Puzzled, Gorgia refuted the first claim and, when Harman ridiculed his “old man” posture, he explained that he had scoliosis. In response, Harman sent him to see the NAC psychologist.

In late October, Gorgia was advised that he needed spinal surgery urgently, and he got all the necessary permissions for a six-week medical leave of absence. Nevertheless, Fr. Park appeared “flustered” and “angry” about the arrangements for Gorgia’s return home. Subsequently, it appeared to Gorgia that Park feared that his “departure might present him opportunities […] to disclose what he had witnessed and learned about Park’s inappropriate conduct.” 

The lawsuit alleges also that whereas Gorgia’s professors and fellow seminarians wished him well before his surgery, Harman and Park had been cold to him and “offered no expressions of empathy.” 

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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

___________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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Several documents attest that Gorgia was an excellent student, and he made detailed arrangements so that he would not fall behind in his studies. Despite his back surgery and recuperation, he stayed in constant touch with NAC and emailed his assignments to his professors before they were due.  In late November, Cardinal Dolan wrote to Gorgia, congratulating him on his “strong academic performance.”

However, Dolan wrote quite a different letter to Gorgia in mid-December, informing him that Fr. Harman, NAC’s Rector, had “raised alleged ‘concerns’” and “objected to Gorgia’s return to NAC.” Dolan’s letter listed three charges against Gorgia: that his leave “compromised” his entire second semester, that he had gone about seeking leave incorrectly, and that he had shown “slow development” in his “human formation.” Believing all these accusations to be false, Gorgia asked to meet with Cardinal Dolan. He was, however, rebuffed. 

The lawsuit offers evidence that Gorgia had kept up with his studies, took NAC advice to comply with rules concerning leave, and had very recently been assessed as having “the formational stage required.” It describes how Gorgia was so disappointed by Harman’s and Dolan’s “punitive measures” against him (a work assignment, studies in the U.S.A., and the libellous charges on his permanent record) and so frustrated by Dolan’s refusal to meet him, that he resigned as a seminarian of the Archdiocese of New York. It also details how Gorgia hoped to become a second-year seminarian of the Diocese of Brooklyn until he learned that Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas Di Marzio, allegedly, “wanted to appease Dolan by re-subjecting Gorgia to the unjust punitive measures which Dolan had adopted.” 

The lawsuit also offers the evidence of a psychologist at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston, New York – where Gorgia had studied prior to going to Rome – that the claims made by Harman against Gorgia’s character were untrue. In his letter to Cardinal Dolan, Dr. John Palumbo stated also that Gorgia’s “affective maturity” was “totally appropriate” and that he believed that “it is so important for our Church to continue to form such emotionally healthy young men.” 

Gorgia had served his Catholic community in different roles since boyhood, and many of his friends, including his pastor, and fellow parishioners wrote to Cardinal Dolan to express their concern that he had been ill-treated. Many also wrote to Harman. The lawsuit alleges that Dolan’s responses were dishonest, and that Harman’s were an attack on “Gorgia’s credibility.”

Meanwhile, Gorgia had begun to inform Church officials in Rome and the U.S.A. by post about what he had seen and heard about Park’s conduct with seminarians. He was disappointed by their responses or their lack of response. He also learned of more allegations about Park and also about Harman. The lawsuit presents accusations that both men are, or were, homosexually active and that they discriminate against heterosexuals at NAC. 

“It finally became clear to Gorgia that he was perceived as a threat to having defendants’ secrets revealed,” the lawsuit states. 

The stories brought to Gorgia ranged from allegations that Dolan had covered up clerical sexual misconduct in the past, to a lurid story involving one of the defendants in a homosexual orgy. Gorgia allegedly learned of “credible research” indicating that members of the NAC Board of Governors itself have discriminated against heterosexual seminarians, or retained faculty members who did, or had been accused of covering-up abuse, or had been alleged to have homosexual affairs. 

Fr. Harman, the Rector of NAC, told LifeSiteNews that the college denies the allegations.

“We contest every and all allegations completely and categorically,” he wrote. 

“Regarding your request for comment, the Pontifical North American College was saddened to hear that former seminarian Anthony Gorgia is attempting to use civil courts to sue his former seminary, Church, and bishop,” he continued. 

“We have full confidence in the Rector, staff, and seminarians of the North American College. Seminarians are encouraged to report any allegations of misconduct and assured that such allegations are taken seriously. Unfortunately, Mr. Gorgia never made any allegation of misconduct to NAC leadership during his time as a seminarian. We do anticipate defending ourselves vigorously against Mr. Gorgia with the facts of the matter.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the Archdiocese of New York but has not received a reply.

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