BUFFALO, N.Y. (ChurchMilitant.com) - (Warning: graphic content) Three priests in Buffalo, New York have been suspended for pornographic conversations about homosexual activity.
The diocese took action after testimony submitted April 11 by several seminarians, who recently attended a party at Ss. Peter and Paul parish in Hamburg with Fathers Art Mattulke, Bob Orlowski and Patrick O'Keefe.
A seminarian said that "he felt that he needed to take a shower after being exposed to such vulgarity," according to the document obtained by local news station WKBW. "One seminarian described the conversation as 'pornographic.'"
The seminarians' testimony (caution: graphic content) alleges that Mattulke — who serves as spiritual director to seminarians at Christ the King Seminary — joked about being shown the erect penis of a parishioner on a phone. He also reportedly told a seminarian that he had heard his parents having sex during a retreat and that his "father was really giving it to his mother!"
"Lengthy conversations were held about a priest that taught at the seminary who used to go to a truck stops [sic] to give oral sex," the report claims. "He said the priest would brag that consuming the ejaculate was like communion for him."
"Stories that a priest formation director at Christ the King Seminary use to smack a banana in Rev. Art Mattulke's face and would ask him if he wanted to eat his 'nannie,'" the testimony continues.
Other parts of the testimony are too explicit to include in this report.
Former seminarians at Christ the King have contacted Church Militant confirming that the environment at the seminary during their time there was thoroughly corrupt, the atmosphere saturated with sexual discussion and activity. Homosexual conduct went unpunished, with some faculty even bringing their live-in boyfriends to the seminary, where they would spend the night and shower together.
Two other priests in the diocese — Fathers Bryan Zielenieski and Cole Webster — have been reprimanded for failing to put an end to the inappropriate conversations.
Zielenieski minimized the gravity of the offense.
"When you're gathered together in a relaxed atmosphere and when you start to really get into the nitty gritty of ministry," Zielenieski told WKBW, "you have real conversations, and some of it can get into real specifics and, you know, we have to work on that."
Webster is denying that any of the claimed discussions ever took place.
Church Militant reported last year that Fr. Joseph Gatto, rector of Christ the King Seminary, abruptly resigned in September in the wake of homosexual assault allegations. A lawsuit had been filed by a local man receiving spiritual counseling from Gatto, who "quickly befriended me, and shortly thereafter made unwanted sexual advances toward me."
"On one occasion he [Gatto] grabbed my knee in a suggestive manner, and invited me to a 'cabin' for a weekend with him alone," the complaint alleges. "I declined, and ended any further communication."
Gatto denied the claims. After his resignation, he reportedly went to Southdown Institute, a rehabilitation center for clergy in Toronto, Canada.
Gatto was involved in recruiting homosexual seminarians from Latin America in the 1990s and 2000s, who would then be farmed out to various parishes. According to our special report:
Church Militant spoke exclusively to multiple seminarians who were at Buffalo's Christ the King Seminary at the time, and two of them told us that homosexuality at the seminary under Mansell and Gatto was rampant and that some of the Colombians were actually parcelled out to parish assignments with active homosexual pastors who lavished expensive gifts, including cars, on the young gay Colombians in exchange for sex.
The news of the three priests' suspension is just the latest in a long string of scandals wracking the Buffalo diocese, headed by Bp. Richard Malone, who is facing increasing calls to resign after evidence that he lied about and shielded predator priests. The diocese is currently under state and federal investigation for clerical sex abuse cover-up, a federal grand jury empaneled in the diocese earlier this year.
The seminarians' report can be read in full here (caution: graphic content).