UPDATE, 7/7/21: The chancellor and general counsel for the diocese of Springfield, Illinois, Mr. James Bock Jr., contacted Church Militant claiming an informant named in the lawsuit was not credible per the diocese's estimation. Regarding this case, Church Militant rejects charges the informant is not credible; we also have knowledge of other informants who corroborate the story as published.
Bock also writes, "[T]he affidavit of former FBI agent Kenneth McCabe contains a false statement, which is repeated or implied in your articles, where he states in paragraph 11 on page 13 that 'Harman's current and former Ordinaries have, to the present, left these allegations without an authentic, independent and impartial investigation.'"
He goes on to quote from the Special Panel, which primarily examined allegations about disgraced Bp. Daniel Ryan, who was found to have engaged in multiple acts of homosexual misconduct. Other priests in Springfield were also found to have committed financial and sexual improprieties. The panel also looked briefly at allegations made by Thomas Muñoz regarding an alleged orgy he witnessed in Bp. Lucas' rectory, and dismissed them as not credible.
We have reason to believe the 2004 investigation was neither impartial nor complete. For one, the panel failed to interview key witnesses with knowledge of the events, leading to a one-sided and incomplete investigation. Also, at least one of the panelists, regardless of the claims of Bp. Lucas, was indirectly in the pay of the diocese, calling into question the independence of the investigation.
We are aware Muñoz was the target of retaliation for his eyewitness testimony, including false criminal charges (that were eventually thrown out) for offering his eyewitness account of what transpired between Bp. Lucas, Fr. Harman and others present in the rectory at the alleged orgy mentioned in Gorgia's lawsuit.
The suit names New York's Cdl. Timothy Dolan; the archdiocese of New York; the Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome; the NAC rector, Illinois priest Fr. Peter Harman; the NAC vice rector, Washington D.C. priest Fr. Adam Park and others.
Former seminarian Anthony Gorgia filed a legal complaint in February with New York State's Supreme Court. The complaint describes accounts from numerous credible witnesses who allege a history of sexual harassment and misconduct by Fr. Park toward vulnerable seminarians. These allegations include graphic sexual acts by Fr. Harman and a former bishop of Springfield, Illinois at an orgy in the presence of seminarians; a massive cover-up by Dolan and a network of complicit Church officials.
In a stunning development, recently-filed affidavits now identify the former Springfield bishop as the current archbishop of Omaha — George Lucas. The lawsuit further alleges that NAC officials retaliated against Gorgia as a result of his refusal to be complicit with misconduct.
In a June affidavit, one of multiple subjects of Park's sexual harassment recounted his own experiences and the cover-up that ensued when NAC rector Harman ignored his report. The subject's affidavit plunges into scandal by the NAC and the U.S. bishops who comprise its Board of Governors for their refusal to investigate sexual misconduct by NAC leadership and threats to the safety of their vulnerable seminarians.
In a separate new affidavit, a former special agent in charge (SAC) for the Federal Bureau of Investigation explained his analysis of incriminating evidence. He cited video footage that led him to find "entirely credible" an eyewitness account of Harman's and Lucas' graphic sexual acts at an orgy involving subordinate seminarians. The former SAC divulged "the alleged dimensions and specific descriptions of Harman's and other participants' intimate body parts" and "the graphic sexual acts attributed to Harman and Lucas, among others."
New affidavits filed in court also reveal compelling long-standing ties between Dolan and Lucas dating back to their rise to power in the archdiocese of St. Louis. According to these affidavits, their relationship indicates Dolan's personal interest in concealing predation which had the potential to out Harman and Lucas.
The former SAC likewise reveals the factors that have caused hundreds of vulnerable seminarians over the years to be exploited by nonconsensual sexual acts and cover-ups.
The former SAC not only implicates over 30 U.S. and Vatican bishops — who received and ignored numerous incriminating reports against Harman, Park and the NAC — but also Bp. Kevin Vann of Orange, California as a firsthand witness to the graphic misconduct alleged against Harman and Lucas. According to the former SAC, a number of these bishops, who retain Harman and Park in their positions of power over the NAC's vulnerable adults, have themselves been accused of covering up sexual misconduct in the past.
Gorgia is only one of hundreds of seminarians impacted by sexual misconduct ravaging seminaries. While many of these seminarians left quietly without ever revealing what they suffered, Gorgia is among the first to hold Church leaders judicially accountable for victimizing seminarians. It is expected that scores of victimized seminarians and priests will continue to come forward with overwhelming accounts that will shatter the "culture of silence" plaguing the Church.
Anyone wishing to support Anthony and other victimized seminarians in this case can contribute to the Save Our Seminarians Fund, here.