Letter to Steelers Regarding Douglas Nowicki

Dear Mr. Rooney,

Last month I visited Saint Vincent Archabbey after months of researching allegations of misconduct by members of its Benedictine monastic community. I have conducted or have been involved with similar investigations since coming forward in 1989 as a victim of sexual abuse by a monk at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.

In April of 2011, my research and investigations led, in part, to the release of a document by Saint John’s Abbot John Klassen which named eighteen monk offenders, all credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The list of eighteen was certainly a good start, but far from comprehensive.

In May of 2011, I exposed the cover-up of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in Missouri. In fact, Conception Abbey’s most notorious perpetrator, Father Bede Parry, shared much his story with me in a two-page confession and videotaped interview. Father Parry admitted to molesting several young men in the 80’s. The leadership at Conception Abbey, including former Abbot Jerome Hanus and current Abbot Gregory Polan, failed to protect, and then failed to provide outreach and assistance, to Father Parry’s victims.

In January of [2012], I wrote a letter to Bishop DiLorenzo in Richmond, Virginia. The letter outlined misconduct by Father Luke Travers and several other members of the Saint Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ) community. When Bishop DiLorenzo received the letter, Father Travers was working as a priest in the Richmond area despite being under investigation and on restriction in New Jersey. Father Travers returned to New Jersey the next day. The list of perpetrators and victims of misconduct at Saint Mary’s Abbey and Delbarton School continues to grow.

Misconduct in Latrobe

Today, I write this letter to make you aware of credible allegations of serious sexual misconduct that have been made against the current Chancellor of Saint Vincent College, Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki.

On October 5, 2011, Mr. Robert J.B. Flummerfelt, J.C.L., J.D., Esq, a civil attorney, and a Canon Lawyer, submitted a canonical denunciation in respect to Archabbot Nowicki to the competent Dicastery at the Holy See: the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

On December 16, 2011, the Congregation responded to Mr. Flummerfelt’s letter to let him know that, “the matter is currently being studied.”

It is believed that the recent visit by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, to nearby Greensburg Diocese in late June may have been related to the investigation underway in Rome. I spoke with Archbishop Viganò after mass on June 30, 2012. He expressed a genuine concern and an interest in learning more about my knowledge of misconduct by the Benedictines.

Whether or not Archbishop Viganò’s visit had anything to do with Archabbot Nowicki, I can say, with certainty, that Archbishop Viganò is aware of alleged misconduct by Archabbot Nowicki. Further, I am aware that Archbishop Viganò and Archabbot Nowicki met privately at Saint Vincent Archabbey during the Archbishop’ visit.

Nature of the Allegations Against Archabbot Nowicki.

Mr. Flummerfelt’s denunciation outlined a series of episodes of sexual harassment by Archabbot Nowicki with regard to [redacted information regarding victim], since Archabbot Nowicki had made his life intolerable. Contained within the canonical denunciation is a statement notarised by a notary public of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

The notarized statement, which I have reviewed, outlines how:

[ Redacted portion of this letter includes the description of several incidents of misconduct allegedly perpetrated by Abbot Douglas Nowicki. ]

The notarized statement makes specific references to Coach Cowher, Chuck Noll and the Steelers organization. One incident of misconduct, for example, took place on the day that Chuck Noll Field was dedicated.

These allegations are now subject to a Church investigation, which may upon completion, result in Archabbot Nowicki being removed as Archabbot by a Decree by this Dicastery, and subjected to a penal process in accordance with Canon Law.

Abbot Timothy Kelly

The complaints against Archabbot Nowicki were “investigated” by the previous Abbot President of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation, the late Abbot Timothy Kelly. Upon the conclusion of Abbot Kelly’s investigation into said allegations, Archabbot Nowicki was “exonerated”. Following his exoneration, Archabbot Nowicki was re-elected as Archabbot in 2010.

However, it emerged that there were significant procedural irregularities with this investigation, which are evidenced within the canonical denunciation. Of significant concern, the people that gave “testimony” in support of Archabbot Nowicki were loyalist sycophants, and thereby the “investigation” was deliberately skewed, along with being conducted in a manner that wilfully excluded credible witnesses prepared to give evidence attesting to the misconduct of Archabbot Nowicki.

Egregiously, evidence has emerged showing that Abbot Kelly deliberately lied to the monastic community at Saint Vincent with malice and aforethought with respect to his investigation of Archabbot Nowicki, which resulted in this matter having to be referred to the Holy See.

It is safe to say that had a competent and objective investigation been conduct, Archabbot Nowicki would not have been re-elected.

Please be advised that Abbot Timothy Kelly is currently subject to a posthumous lawsuit for alleged sexual misconduct involving an altar boy, while he was a priest ministering in New York City. I have spoken to two of Abbot Timothy Kelly’s “alleged” victims. I have also spoken to men of character who reported sexual misconduct by other perpetrating monks (most notably Fathers Mel Taylor, Tom Andert and Dan Ward) to Abbot Timothy Kelly. In each case, these offending monks were “exonerated.”

In summary, Abbot Timothy Kelly’s cover up of misconduct by a fellow perpetrator, in this case Archabbot Nowicki, follows an established pattern.

In light of said facts serious questions now surround Archabbot Nowicki’s credibility and re-election as Archabbot. Additionally, the current Abbot President of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation, Abbot Hugh Anderson was called by a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey requesting him to further investigate these matters. After said telephone conversation Abbot Anderson choose to do nothing, and [willfully] continued to ignore the very serious allegations [of] sexual misconduct that had been made against Archabbot Nowicki.

Joe Paterno and Archabbot Nowicki

Mr. Joe Paterno is viewed by many with disapprobation, due to the horrific sexual misconduct of Mr. Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University. Regrettably, Mr. Paterno, and his family have deep connections with Archabbot Nowicki. What is common to both Mr. Paterno and Archabbot Nowicki, both persons turned a blind eye to an entrenched culture that covered up institutionalised sexual misconduct with alacrity.

The sexual misconduct associated with the New Directions Program at Saint Vincent Archabbey, with Archabbot Nowicki still refusing to acknowledge that minors were deliberately recruited from poor inner-city areas with the promise of a scholarship, who were then subsequently subjected to sexual misconduct under the auspices of Saint Vincent College. (Then) Father Douglas Nowicki was a recipient of an anonymous letter, as a member of the Board of Directors of Saint Vincent College, highlighting said misconduct.

Last month, I spoke with one the writers of that anonymous letter. I am in the process of documenting his testimony. Father Douglas Nowicki’s involvement is unquestionable.

Even today, Archabbot Nowicki continues his arrogant refusal to involve the civil authorities with respect to this historical sexual abuse of minors, and has taken no steps to identify victims, then or now. Make no mistake, certain aspects of the cover up and denial perpetuated now by Archabbot Nowicki at Saint Vincent Archabbey is remarkably similar to the Penn State/Sandusky scandal.

Penn State Catholic Chaplaincy

The Penn State Catholic Chaplaincy is named the “Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center” in honor of the wife of Joe Paterno, and is staffed by Benedictine monks from Saint Vincent Archabbey. Recently, Fr. David Griffin O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey had dinner with the Paterno family, and offered his sympathies with the family’s current plight. It’s not recorded publicly that Fr. Griffin has offered his sympathy to the victims of Mr. Sandusky.

More evidence of the deep connections between Saint Vincent Archabbey and Penn State/Paterno Family was the presence of Archabbot Nowicki at the ceremonial groundbreaking on August 31, 2010, and the blessing of the Cornerstone and Steeple Cross on August 29, 2011, of the Penn State Catholic Center.

It must be recorded that the Catholic Chaplaincy at Penn State is conducted under the auspices of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. In a letter dated November 29, 2011, to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, raised serious questions about the conduct of Fr. Mark L. Bartchak, and the role that he played in the cover-up the Archabbot Nowicki’s misconduct before his appointment as Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, when acted as a canonical adviser to Archabbot Nowicki.

2012 Training Camp

Therefore, Mr. Rooney, in light of these credible allegations and emerging storylines, the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot afford to have any association with either Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, and/or Saint Vincent College.

Thus, it is respectfully suggested that the Pittsburgh Steelers cancel their forthcoming training camp at Saint Vincent College; locate alternative training facilities, and refrain from any further contact with Saint Vincent College as long as Archabbot Nowicki remains under investigation.

If the Pittsburgh Steelers do not cancel the forthcoming training at Saint Vincent College, effectively the Steelers can be legitimately accused of giving legitimacy to institutionalised cover up of sexual misconduct by being publicly associated with a miscreant who is a sexually predator.

Mr. Rooney, thank you for your attention to this letter. I trust you will pursue the correct course of action with respect to the aforementioned matters.



Patrick J Marker

CC: Kevin Colbert
Omar Khan