Nov. 19, 2019
By Thomas Hughes & Emily Cox
After conducting basic research on the Board of Trustees, we stumbled upon an allegation of sexual abuse against a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Reverend Peter G. Gori O.S.A., JCD. Last April, Rev. Gori was accused of sexual abuse against a minor by a man over allegations of abuse from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The man alleged that the abuse occurred when he was ten years old. Following the reports of this abuse, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that Gori was placed on administrative leave at his Andover Church.
“The Archdiocese immediately informed law enforcement as well as forwarded the matter to his religious provincial, the Augustinian Order of St. Thomas of Villanova,” the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement. “The Augustinian Province will be responsible for investigating the case involving Fr. Gori,” the statement continued.
After Gori’s dismissal, he wrote a letter to his parishioners in which he denied the allegation. “I assure you, as I assured the provincial, the accusation is false,” Gori wrote. “I cannot live in the parish rectory, and I cannot publicly celebrate the sacraments without special permission. So, you will not be seeing me for a while, and I appreciate your prayerful support.”
Earlier this year, additional allegations of verbal abuse were also levied against Gori from a former member of his parish from incidents that had allegedly occurred over 25 years ago. In response to the allegation of verbal abuse, he issued a statement to the Boston Globe saying that he is “forbidden to comment on any matters pertaining to any specific annulment cases” but insisted that be had “acted with professional skill, integrity and compassion at all times.”
Gori has sat on the Board of Trustees at Villanova since 2013. When asked for comment on the matter, the University provided The Villanovan with the following statement:
“This past spring, the University was made aware of allegations made against Father Peter Gori, an Augustinian priest and member of our Board of Trustees. The Augustinian Order directed that an independent investigation be conducted regarding the allegations. While that investigation was proceeding, Fr. Gori was on leave from the Board. The investigation was recently concluded, and the Augustinian Order informed us that the investigation found the complaint to be unfounded and exonerated Fr. Gori, who has now returned to the Board of Trustees.”
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