Vatican Bars Benedictine Priest Who Taught at St. Vincent College
By Ann Rodgers
July 30, 2013
The Vatican forcibly removed a priest who had been an anthropology professor and popular speaker at St. Vincent College from ministry and barred him from his Benedictine order, according to an announcement today from St. Vincent Archabbey.
The announcement from the archabbey did not focus on its previous allegations that Rev. Mark Gruber had pornography on his computer.
Instead it stressed that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had reviewed evidence that Mr. Gruber was behind allegations, widely disseminated on a Web site, that Archabbot Douglas Nowicki had sexually harassed a young former monk.
The announcement said that the former monk has since signed a sworn statement saying that his allegations against the archabbot were a lie and that then-Father Gruber had written parts of the statement for him.
Mr. Gruber was removed from his teaching post in July 2009 after images of naked young men were found on his computer. Many students and alumni rallied to his defense, and a former student claimed responsibility for downloading the images when the priest, who was counseling him for a pornography addiction, was away from his office.
Mr. Gruber has always maintained his innocence. His defenders said he couldn't explain his side without violating the seal of Confession regarding the student he was counseling.
He sued the college for defamation, then dropped it.
Last year the Vatican Congregation ordered him to live "a life of prayer and penance" in a Vatican-designated monastery away from St. Vincent and to refrain from presenting himself as a priest, celebrating the sacraments in public, teaching and contact with minors.
According to the archabbey's announcement, he was laicized and dispensed from his vows after failing to move to a monastery in Missouri that had been designated for him.