Archabbot’s Response to the Westinghouse Letter

Dear alumni, colleagues, students, friends:

You may recently have received an e-mail [ View ] from Richard Westinghouse (or Hanson) containing defamatory, slanderous allegations against me, as Archabbot of Saint Vincent. The allegations are completely false. I want you to hear from me directly so that you can understand what is behind the vicious attack, not only in an attempt to destroy my good name, but to damage the well-being of Saint Vincent College and Archabbey as well.

A former junior monk made a false allegation against me in an affidavit on November 29, 2009. The allegation was found to be false by two independent investigators – a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a former member of the Pennsylvania State Police. These investigators concluded in their report to church officials that not only was the allegation false, but also that it was likely part of a conspiracy involving the former junior monk and others to destroy the good name of the Archabbot. The former junior monk at that time was a close associate and supporter of Rev. Mark Gruber. Subsequently, the junior monk himself withdrew his allegation, which had been submitted to a Vatican Congregation. That Congregation dismissed the allegation as not credible

In July 2009, thousands of pornographic images, including child pornography and grossly inappropriate images of Rev. Mark Gruber himself, were discovered on Rev. Gruber’s computer. As required by church and civil law, the Archabbot reported the matter to church and civil officials. In response to the action taken against him, Rev. Gruber initiated a libel suit against the Archabbot, the Bishop of Greensburg, College officials and others, which he quickly withdrew when it became evident that he had lied repeatedly under oath in a deposition taken on October 21, 2010, in an attempt to deny authorship of the incriminating material discovered on his computer.

Despite the fact that the allegations of the junior monk were found to be false, and his own self-incriminating deposition, Rev. Gruber initiated an internet and mailing campaign against the Archabbot and others apparently in retaliation for the actions taken against him as required by church and civil law. He has done this principally through the agency of two close associates and surrogates (James Carr, a resident of Great Britain, and Patrick Marker, a resident of the State of Washington). The main strategy of the Gruber-Carr-Marker campaign of defamation has been to endlessly repeat the false allegation of the junior monk, as in the most recent Richard Westinghouse e-mail.

As required by church law, the Archabbot of Saint Vincent presented the case of Rev. Gruber to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on February 14, 2011. The material submitted to the Congregation included two reports of the Pennsylvania State Police which, contrary to Rev. Gruber’s repeated assertions, did not conclude that Rev. Gruber was innocent of the charges made against him.

The Vatican Congregation (CDF) reached its final decision in the case of Rev. Mark Gruber on June 30, 2012. The decree was confirmed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and admits of no further appeals. The evidence against Rev. Gruber was judged to be irrefutable. The Congregation found Rev. Gruber “guilty of the more grave delict of possession of child pornography, the crime of the production of materials which gravely injure good morals, the abuse of the Sacrament of Confession with the aggravating factor of the manipulation of conscience and the defamation of a legitimate superior…”

The permanent penalties imposed upon Rev. Gruber include the following: “A life of prayer and penance to be lived outside of the Archabbey of Saint Vincent, in a religious community to be determined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the prohibition against presenting himself as a cleric in public, celebrating the sacraments in public, teaching, and contact with minors under the age of 18…”

Rev. Gruber is awaiting his assignment to a location away from Saint Vincent, to be determined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to live a life of prayer and penance. He remains in the prayers of the Benedictine Community.

Thank you for your patience in reading this extended letter which I believe is necessary since the junior monk’s false allegation has been broadcast so widely. I count on your continued support of Saint Vincent College and Archabbey.


Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B.

Kim Metzgar

Director of Archabbey and Seminary Public Relations
Saint Vincent Archabbey and Saint Vincent Seminary
Editor, Saint Vincent Magazine, Saint Vincent College
300 Fraser Purchase Road
Latrobe, PA 15650

Date: Wed, 1 May 2013 15:53:12 -0400
Subject: Hanson-Westinghouse emails, email response