Vigano, Steelers Alerted to Sexual Abuse in 2012

Following a June 30, 2012 conversation with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States during his visit to the Greensburg Diocese, a letter dated July 19 [View as PDF] alerted Mr. Arthur. J. Rooney, II and two other members of of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization making them fully aware of a long (and still very recent) history of sexual abuse and other misconduct at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The Steelers have held training camp at St. Vincent’s since 1965.

As a followup to the June conversation, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò received an September 19, 2012 letter [View] addressed to Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico regarding misconduct by Archabbot Douglas Nowicki.

Last week, the St. Vincent’s Archabbey announced [Link] that fourteen men associated with the Archabbey had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The list, however, is incomplete:

Rev. Fidelis Lazar
Rev. Giles Nealen
Rev. Charles Weber
Rev. Raymond Balko
Rev. Gordian Burkardt
Rev. Alvin Downey
Rev. Joseph Gerg
Rev. Germain Lieb
Rev. Stanley Markiewicz
Rev. Cosmas Minster
Rev. Emmeran Rettger
Rev. Jerome Rupprecht
Brother Benet Salis
Rev. Alcuin Tasch
Rev. Herman Ubinger

The list does not include the names of several people associated with the Archabbey against whom allegations of sexual and other misconduct have been made including, but not limited to, Brother David Hemmerling, Brother Elliot Maloney, Father Fred Byrne  and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki. Nor does the list address the relationship between the Archabbey and Archbishop Rembert Weakland or between Archabbot Nowicki and Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

As was the case with Cardinal Theodore McCormick [Link], Archabbot Douglas Nowicki’s inappropriate behavior with subordinates is known. On October 1, 2012, newly installed Archbishop Lawrence Persico commented  [Link] that Archabbot Douglas Nowicki’s behavior is “not something that should be happening between an Archabbot and a junior monk.”

The list of names associated with sexual and other misconduct at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania will continue to grow.

As the list of credibly accused names increases, those individuals and organizations who call the Archabbey home, if even for a few weeks during the summer, will decline.