NAC Casualty Inspires Action

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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 30, 2020   

A call for an impartial, thorough investigation

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Concerned Catholics are seeking accountability in defense of a model student and former seminarian whom they say Pontifical North American College (NAC), together with Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York, threw under the bus without cause. 

Church Militant's March report on Anthony Gorgia — an exemplary candidate for the priesthood who was forced to leave the NAC after witnessing predatory homosexual behavior by seminary vice-rector Fr. Adam Park — has inspired some Catholics to come forward with new information and others to take action. 

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Gene Gomulka

One of those taking action is Gene Thomas Gomulka, a retired Navy captain/chaplain who served on active duty at Marine Corps and Navy commands for over 24 years. Gorgia's case resonated with Gomulka, an NAC alumnus whose ecclesiastical endorsements were revoked for supporting sexual abuse victims over Church leaders who underreported and covered up abuse.

"This case is not just about Anthony Gorgia, because he is only one of hundreds of holy, gifted and dedicated heterosexually oriented Catholic young men who have been forced out of seminaries by gay or pro-LGBT bishops, vocation directors, rectors and faculty members," Gomulka observed. "As an NAC alumnus, I knew I had gay classmates, many of whom today are ordinaries and auxiliaries, but I never knew they would end up discriminating against straight candidates like Anthony Gorgia and others."

Letter to 'Dolan and Other Responsible Parties'

Gomulka has sent a letter to those directly involved in scuttling Gorgia's candidacy for the priesthood — including Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York — calling for "an impartial and thorough investigation into all of the allegations" surrounding the former seminarian's case.

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Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York (Brigitte Stelzer)

A classmate of Dolan while at the NAC, Gomulka recounted in his letter to the cardinal a personal experience with predatory homosexual behavior similar to that which Gorgia witnessed.

"Anthony's problems appear to have begun after he showed by his facial expression disdain toward the behavior of the vice-rector, Fr. Adam Park, who appeared to be inappropriately touching a fellow seminarian," wrote Gomulka, "as Msgr. Otto Garcia did to me when I was in my room at NAC studying for my finals." 

In his own room at the time, Gomulka had removed his shirt due to the hot Italian weather. Garcia had used the opportunity to massage Gomulka's chest, an action that met with similar disdain. 

Gomulka reminded Dolan of another case with which he should be familiar.

"I am sure you are [familiar] with the case involving my own classmate, Fr. Robert Kelly, who prior to his removal was the NAC Academic Dean," he wrote, adding, "you know all too well how certain 'behavior' is covered up which can often result in the priest undertaking it again in the future."

Gorgia's case 'is potentially suggestive of gay church officials abusing their power and reprising against heterosexually oriented vulnerable seminarians.'

Gomulka went on to give detailed reasons why Gorgia's case was mishandled and needs to be looked into properly. 

Some of those reasons include Dolan's refusal to meet with Gorgia, his parents, clergy and other concerned professionals — a failure Gomulka contends most would consider a violation of moral duty — and refusal "to investigate whether or not Frs. [Adam] Park [the NAC vice-rector Gorgia witnessed massaging a seminarian] and [Peter] Harman [the NAC rector] are homosexuals who are discriminating against heterosexually oriented candidates for the priesthood." 

Gorgia's case "is potentially suggestive of gay church officials abusing their power and reprising against heterosexually oriented vulnerable seminarians," added Gomulka. 


If it is "later revealed that Frs. Harman and/or Park are homosexuals who have preyed on seminarians," he concluded, "then I think all of the prelates who are in receipt of these allegations should be prepared to compensate him for the seven years of his life that were lost." 

Gomulka sent his letter to Dolan; Fr. Park and his ordinary, Abp. Wilton Gregory of Washington; Fr. Harman and his ordinary, Bp. Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; the NAC Board of Governors; Cdl. Sean O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; Abp. Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States and a slew of others.

Copied on read-receipt mail tracking, Church Militant has confirmed that, so far, Cdl. Dolan and others in the archdiocese of New York have received and opened Gomulka's letter. 

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Fr. Adam Park, NAC vice-rector

Anthony Gorgia's Story

After witnessing NAC vice-rector Fr. Adam Park inappropriately interacting with a seminarian directly under his supervision, Anthony Gorgia suddenly faced alleged formation problems.

One Sunday in the refectory, Gorgia witnessed NAC vice-rector Fr. Adam Park approach, stand behind and perform "back massage"-type motions on a seminarian. Gorgia was surprised, and Park noticed it.

Gorgia went about his business, never saying a word but wondering if noticing Park's inappropriate behavior would have repercussions. 

Dolan was highly supportive of Gorgia, writing him letters of accolades for various achievements, until after the incident at the NAC

But in late 2018, Gorgia received a letter from Dolan forbidding him to continue the academic year at NAC, based on allegations by NAC Rector Fr. Peter Harman. Though Gorgia had arranged in advance the terms of a leave of absence to recover from a surgery — and followed all his courses from home as he had already arranged with his professors — Harman claimed several problems. He characterized Georgia's six weeks off as "lengthy" and alleged Gorgia's "failure to follow proper protocol" as well as "resistance to act upon concerns" regarding his progress in human formation. 

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Fr. Peter Harman, NAC rector

Gorgia was ordered to spend eight months (January 2019–August 2019) in a parish placement assignment in the Bronx, where Dolan's former secretary, Fr. James Truz, was pastor. At the end of the assignment, faculty members at St. Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York would be apprised of Harman's allegations and evaluate Gorgia for possible readmission to NAC. If allowed to return, readmittance would require a repeat of the entire second year. 

Gorgia said he could not comply with these directives, since doing so would have meant agreement with Harman's allegations, all of which appear dubious based on thorough documentation shared with Church Militant. 

Gorgia said he had no choice but to withdraw from seminary after begging five times to no avail to meet with Dolan to defend his case.

Gorgia and others say they spent about a year and a half following the proper chain of command in the Catholic Church to keep the matter within the Church, but have only received dismissive responses or none at all.   


Gene Gomulka's Letter (Reprinted with Permission)

Dear Cardinal Dolan and other responsible parties,

While this pandemic has left many of us more "vulnerable" seniors wondering if we are going to live or die, the quarantine does afford us time to reflect on the past which, for you and me, would include our formation days together in Rome. Could you ever have imagined back then that you would be reading this letter sitting where you are today? 

On May 6, 2002, I reported a Catholic Navy Chaplain, Fr. John Thomas "Matt" Lee, whom I was informed had a live-in boyfriend. In that same letter to then-archbishop Edwin O'Brien with a copy to Bp. Joseph Adamec, I also reported a case of a veteran whom I recommended to study for the priesthood who left the seminary after the administration failed to take corrective action when he reported being propositioned by gay seminarians. As Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle reported in his article, "Cardinals Behaving Badly," not only did O'Brien refuse to look at the evidence I brought to his office supporting the allegations in my reports, but he also tried to get me to undergo a psychological evaluation before unjustly revoking my ecclesiastical endorsement. It was O'Brien who eventually compelled me to leave the priesthood by getting Bp. Adamec to silence me by offering me orders to serve as a chaplain at a remote state prison.  

As a result of the unjust reprisals Fr. Doyle and I experienced, I could not help but be interested in reading an article about Anthony Gorgia, who was a student at the North American College (NAC), and whose resignation under duress you accepted without the fairness of an impartial investigation into his case. Having investigated a number of sex abuse cases involving Catholic chaplains serving with Marines that I mentioned in my America article published four months before The Boston Globe began running its series of abuse articles in January of 2002, and after having been allowed access to the evidence you refused to examine with Mr. Gorgia, it is my opinion that Anthony is a whistleblower whose dismissal had nothing to do with his alleged "slow progress in human formation" or the impact his medical leave would have upon his academic performance. 

There are quite a number of reasons I strongly believe that Anthony is the victim of reprisals and discrimination by homosexual priests who viewed him as a threat to their homosexual relationships. These reasons include: 

  1. Anthony's problems appear to have begun after he showed by his facial expression disdain toward the behavior of the vice-rector, Fr. Adam Park, who appeared to be inappropriately touching a fellow seminarian (as Msgr. Otto Garcia did to me when I was in my room at NAC studying for my finals) and after Anthony was made aware from classmates of immoral homosexual behaviors involving Fr. Park. Familiar as I am sure you are with the case involving my own classmate, Fr. Robert Kelly, who prior to his removal was the NAC academic dean, you know all too well how certain "behavior" is covered up which can often result in the priest undertaking it again in the future.
  1. The reasons given to justify Anthony's disenrollment are highly suspect. How many seminarians in the history of NAC — or any Catholic seminary — have been disenrolled in the middle of the academic year for such specious reasons involving their "human formation" or "permission" documentation — all of which in Anthony's case are proven to be false accusations? Was it not you yourself who granted Anthony permission in writing to return for the non-elective surgery?
  1. You refused to meet with Anthony or respond to specific issues raised by him, his parents and other concerned professionals, clergy and laity. I am certain most people would feel you had a "moral" duty to hear his side of the story. I can't tell you how many investigations I did in the course of my military career in which senior officers unjustly disciplined subordinates in order to cover up wrongdoing on their own part.
  1. You ordered Anthony to undergo a psychological evaluation that lacked justification despite very positive, objective evaluations — even from yourself — showing that Anthony was in no way deficient in his formation. Anthony also had an outstanding record of academic performance, which you in multiple communications have praised. Anthony was a summa cum laude student throughout his seminary studies and was chosen by the NAC faculty and his peers to be the seminary's academic representative to the Gregorian University.
  1. You refused to investigate whether or not Frs. Park and Harman are homosexuals who are discriminating against heterosexually oriented candidates for the priesthood. What happened to Anthony is potentially suggestive of gay church officials abusing their power and reprising against heterosexually oriented vulnerable seminarians.

As an NAC alumnus, I cannot help but be concerned if the behavior Anthony witnessed and learned of from other classmates is similar to behavior that contributed to the closing of seminaries like St. John's Provincial Seminary in Detroit (aka the "Pink Palace") and Christ the King Seminary in Aurora where the rector, Fr. Joseph Gatto, was alleged to have made homosexual advances toward seminarians.  

The late A.W. Richard Sipe, in addition to reporting ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick to Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, which resulted in McCarrick's censure, discussed his experience in the area of clerical sex abuse when he wrote that he had heard "from many priests about their seduction by highly placed clerics and the dire consequences in their lives that does not end in their victimization alone ... This abuse paves the way for them to pass the tradition on — to have sex with each other and even with minors." An investigation has yet to be undertaken to discover how many bishops and priests who were preyed upon by McCarrick when they were young priests and seminarians today "pass this tradition on."

Seminarians who are exposed to homosexual cultures in seminaries react similarly to young people who grow up in homes where alcoholism is a serious problem. While some young people end up imitating the behavior they witnessed and become alcoholics themselves, others demonstrate a particularly strong aversion toward alcohol. Likewise, while a priest like Fr. Mark White, who was ordained by ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, is very outspoken in condemning clerical homosexual predation and behavior, the jury is still out on Fr. Adam Park, who was ordained by McCarrick in 2005. Might an investigative reporter find a connection between the way Richmond bishop Barry Knestout (ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick's personal secretary) is dealing with Fr. Mark White; with the way Cdl. Blase Cupich (whose appointment was alleged by Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò to have been orchestrated by ex-cardinal McCarrick) is dealing with Fr. Paul Kalchik; and the way you are dealing with Anthony Gorgia involving allegations against Fr. Adam Park (Cdl. Wuerl's former priest secretary)?

When Fr. "Matt" Lee was arrested in 2007 and charged with aggravated assault, sodomy, conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to inform sex partners that he was HIV positive, then-archbishop O'Brien lied by leading reporters to believe he had no knowledge of Lee's homosexual activities. Even though my 2002 letter addressing Lee's homosexual cohabitation may still be found in the office files of both the archbishop for the Military Services and the bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, I found it interesting that O'Brien's successor, Abp. Timothy Broglio, lied about what I had reported when he wrote on Sept. 17, 2019, that I simply "reported suspicions of Matt Lee's probable homosexual orientation." I daresay if someone were to write him saying a chaplain had "a live-in girlfriend," I doubt he would state that someone simply "reported suspicions of a chaplain's probable "heterosexual orientation." Had O'Brien not covered up Lee's homosexual predation but got him the help he needed to arrest his behavior, Lee might not find himself serving a 30-year sentence in a federal correctional institution today.

You may recall that Fr. Walter Rossi, the rector of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, who was accused of homosexual predation, was investigated by both the ordinary of his home diocese of Scranton and the archbishop of Washington, in whose archdiocese the Shrine is located. Insofar as Frs. Park and Harman are priests of the archdiocese of Washington and the diocese of Springfield in Illinois; and insofar as Fr. John McDonald — who appears to be playing the role of Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons — is from the diocese of Birmingham, I think it is only appropriate that I copy the ordinaries of all these priests involved in this alleged reprisal against Anthony. 

In addition to copying Abp. Wilton Gregory, Bp. Thomas Paprocki and Bp. Steven Raica, I think it is also appropriate that I copy the apostolic nuncio, Abp. Christophe Pierre, insofar as the North American College is located on property of the Vatican City State. Owing to the fact that the February 2019 Vatican Sex Abuse Summit excluded addressing the sexual abuse of seminarians after Pope Francis' top reformer, Cdl. Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, slammed "seminarians for exposing homosexuality inside the (Tegucigalpa) seminary," I will also send a copy of this letter to Cdl. Sean O'Malley in his role as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and as a mandatory reporter. 

An innocent person who is sentenced to prison is entitled to compensation for the unjust action that was taken against him. If Anthony was unjustly separated from NAC and it is later revealed that Frs. Harman and/or Park are homosexuals who have preyed on seminarians, other adults or even minors, then I think all of the prelates who are in receipt of these allegations should be prepared to compensate him for the seven years of his life that were lost; for the defamation he suffered; and for the unjust discrimination he experienced based on his heterosexual orientation. 

Lest you fail to act and are in violation of Vos estis lux mundi, owing to the allegations involving Cdl. O'Brien and Abp. Broglio that I have joined to those of Mr. Gorgia, I strongly encourage you and the three other ordinaries to undertake an impartial and thorough investigation into all of the allegations contained within this communication. If I were tasked with this investigation, I would begin by speaking with members of Anthony's class in a manner in which their responses were assured to be totally confidential. Unless the investigation is carried out in an impartial manner which absolutely guarantees confidentiality — thereby protecting respondents from reprisals — one cannot expect the results to be of any value.

In order to preclude the recipients of this letter saying they were never informed of the numerous allegations contained in this communication, I will imitate the late A.W. Richard Sipe who made it clear that he had reported Theodore McCarrick to Pope Benedict XVI by posting a copy of his letter on his website. Hence, one can also read this letter at http://www.gomulka.net/Dolan.pdf.

Sincerely,

Gene Thomas Gomulka

Rev. Msgr., Captain, CHC, USN (Ret.)

--- Campaign 31877 ---

 

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