Rome, Italy, Feb 6, 2021 / 12:31 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The American seminary in Rome has said it will defend itself “vigorously” against a lawsuit filed by a former student who says he was blocked from continuing his studies there after he had witnessed inappropriate homosexual contact on the part of the vice rector.
The North American College (NAC), its Rector Fr. Peter Harman, Vice Rector Fr. Adam Park, and faculty member Fr. John McDonald were named as defendants in a Feb. 3 lawsuit filed in Richmond County, New York, by Anthony J. Gorgia.
Gorgia, a former seminarian for the Archdiocese of New York, began studies at the NAC in the summer of 2017. In the 58-page lawsuit, he claims to have witnessed and disapproved of Park initiating inappropriate physical contact with another seminarian.
According to the lawsuit, Gorgia left the NAC for a period during the first semester of his second year of formation to undergo an operation in his home diocese.
Gorgia accuses Harman, Park, and McDonald of creating “false accusations” about him to prevent his return to the seminary in 2018. Gorgia claims this was done because of his heterosexual orientation and the defendants’ desire “to protect themselves from exposure of their predatory homosexuality at the NAC.”