***** FROM Silive.com
Bombshell law suit
Man forced out of Catholic seminary because he’s heterosexual.
And the 2011 valedictorian of his St. Joseph by-the-Sea class seemed well on his way to achieving that goal just a few years ago.
In 2017, Cardinal Timothy Dolan nominated Gorgia, then a seminarian, to attend the prestigious Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome to continue his preparation for the priesthood and his ordination.
But just over a year later it all came crashing down on the 27-year-old Huguenot resident, alleges a blockbuster $125 million lawsuit against Dolan, the Archdiocese of New York, NAC and others.
Gorgia, a heterosexual, was drummed out of the seminary because he had seen the Rev. Adam Park, the vice rector at NAC, inappropriately touching another seminarian, alleges the civil complaint.
Gorgia later learned of the “homosexual proclivities” of the Rev. Peter Harman, NAC’s rector, the complaint alleges.
“Gorgia was discriminated against by defendants because of his heterosexual orientation, by defendants putting forth outrageous falsehoods against Gorgia or in failing to hear and correct the false allegations against him because of a preconceived intent to protect Park, Harman, (the Rev. John Geary) McDonald and the NAC by driving Gorgia out of the priestly formation,” alleges the complaint.
The defendants feared Gorgia’s knowledge of what was happening “could expose the breadth of homosexual activity at the NAC and in some defendants’ lives and dioceses,” alleges the complaint.
Had Gorgia been homosexual, “there would have been no false allegations lodged against him nor any punitive actions taken against him to drive him” out of the seminary, the complaint contends.
“We have more than adequate factual basis to vindicate our claims,” said Raymond W. Belair, Gorgia’s Manhattan-based lawyer. “This will become evident as the case moves forward.”
Gorgia suffered mental anguish, humiliation and economic loss, the complaint contends.
He alleges sexual harassment, hostile work environment, Human Rights Law violations, fraud and deceit, infliction of emotional distress, wrongful discharge, and slander by Dolan and Harman.
An Archdiocese spokesman reacted swiftly to the suit.
“The claims in this case against the Archdiocese of New York and Cardinal Dolan are absurd and have no basis in fact or law,” said Joseph Zwilling, the spokesman. “We are prepared to defend against it and will seek its dismissal in court.”
A lawyer for Park, Harman, McDonald and NAC did not immediately respond to multiple emails seeking comment.
Gorgia has battled adversity from birth.
He was diagnosed with painful scoliosis of the spine, and osteoporosis.
But Gorgia, who initially seemed fated for a life of disabilities, overcame his challenges.
He rose to the top of his class at Sea, as well as at St. John’s University, said the complaint.
He entered the seminary in 2015, and within two years Dolan nominated him for NAC, which is reserved for the cream of the crop.
At first, things went well at NAC.
Gorgia continued to maintain top grades in his studies, prompting Park to praise him in a performance evaluation in March 2018, said the complaint.
In fact, several months later in November 2018, Dolan commended Gorgia for his “strong academic performance” in the 2017-2018 year, according to a copy of a letter attached to the court file.
However, near the beginning of his second academic year, prior to receiving Dolan’s note, Gorgia had seen Park acting inappropriately, the complaint alleges.
The vice rector approached another seminarian from behind and “initiated uninvited physical contact” by rubbing the younger man’s back, alleges the complaint.
From his seminary training, Gorgia understood Park’s actions to be a “‘grooming activity’ used by sexual predators,” the complaint alleges.
Gorgia didn’t say anything.
But Park looked at Gorgia’s face and saw him “witnessing this behavior in a disapproving manner,” alleges the complaint.
Shortly afterward, the other seminarian told Gorgia that Park had given him similar back rubs before and he “found them to be offensive,” the complaint alleges.
In addition, another seminarian told Gorgia that Park had initiated “repeated uninvited physical contact,” alleges the complaint.
When that seminarian objected, Park taunted him, and the seminarian left within six months, the complaint said.
However, Gorgia did not report Park’s actions to anyone while at NAC.
Even so, the winds blew against him, he alleges.
In late 2018, Gorgia needed to return to New York for urgent spinal surgery, said the complaint.
The operation and convalescence required him to leave NAC for an extended period.
Gorgia obtained Dolan’s approval for the absence, and he arranged to keep up with his studies while recuperating, said the complaint.
However, shortly after Christmas of that year, Dolan wrote Gorgia and said Harman, the NAC vicar, had raised concerns and objected to his returning to NAC.
Harman contended Gorgia’s lengthy surgical leave would compromise the integrity of the first semester of his second academic year, the complaint said.
Harman also said Gorgia hadn’t obtained the appropriate permission from NAC for his absence, the filing alleges.
In addition, Harman said McDonald, Gorgia’s advisor at NAC, expressed concern about his “slow progress … in (his) human formation.”
According to Harman, McDonald said Gorgia didn’t like to try new things and presented himself as an “old man,” said the complaint.
Gorgia has scoliosis, which is curvature of the spine.
In short, Harman and others at NAC maintained Gorgia didn’t want to hear about, and resisted acting upon, his purported shortcomings and the need for improvement, the complaint alleges.
Such claims against him were “categorically false and entirely fabricated,” alleges the complaint. Especially since McDonald never expressed any of those concerns to him, contends the complaint.
In his December 2018 letter, Dolan told Gorgia he couldn’t return to NAC that year and would be reassigned in the Archdiocese from January through August 2019.
Dolan said Gorgia would be re-evaluated at the end of the assignment for re-admission to NAC to repeat his second year. Based on that review, he also potentially faced dismissal as a seminarian both at NAC and in the Archdiocese, said the complaint.
Even a positive evaluation by a psychologist at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston, Queens, couldn’t help Gorgia, the complaint said.
Gorgia had completed his minor seminary studies in Douglaston before going to Rome.
Dr. Robert Palumbo described Gorgia’s character as “excellent,” calling him a “young man of great honesty and humility,” according to a document attached to the court file.
“The allegation that he ‘relates like an old man,’ or his affect is that of ‘an old man’ is completely inaccurate,” wrote Palumbo. “Anthony’s affective maturity is totally appropriate.”
Gorgia tried on five occasions to speak to Dolan to straighten out the matter, but was refused, said the complaint.
At that point, Gorgia believed returning to the seminary in New York wasn’t a viable option.
The defendants’ claims against him would be made known there, “irretrievably poisoning the well” against him, alleges the complaint.
RESIGNS ‘UNDER DURESS’
In a January 2019 letter to Dolan, Gorgia resigned “under duress,” the complaint said.
“Gorgia considered it intolerable in conscience to consent to baseless claims against himself and to thereby become complicit therein,” said the complaint. “Gorgia also stated that ‘an environment in which a seminarian is maligned by his superiors and not given the chance to bring the truth to transparency is harmful to his preparation toward the priesthood.’”
Dolan accepted his resignation.
But the Cardinal knew or should have known the allegations against Gorgia were bogus and prevented them from being spread, the complaint alleges.
At the time Gorgia wasn’t aware of what lay behind the defendants’ motives to discriminate against him, alleges the complaint.
It was only later, after other people had told him of Park and Harman’s “homosexual activities,” as well as Dolan’s purported “pattern of cover-up of clerical misconduct” that he figured it out, the complaint alleges.
“It finally became clear to Gorgia that he was perceived as a threat to having defendants’ secrets revealed,” alleges the complaint.
Making such information public could possibly result in the defendants’ dismissal or result in their being laicized, the complaint maintains.
Had Gorgia been a homosexual, “there is no reason to believe” the defendants would have colluded against him, alleges the complaint.
What an awful fraud and gangster Dolan is.
He has spent a lifetime covering up clerical, episcopal and church scandals.
He covered up the homosexual abuse of seminarians at the NAC and was then chosen to investigate the homosexual abuse at Maynooth.
Talk about putting a fox in charge of the chicken run!
Dolan is an ugly man with his outer ugliness betraying his greater internal ugliness.
The Medici’s had more to recommend them than the Dolans have.