Pittsburgh priest honors seal of confession, removed from ministry

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday on the strange, profiles-in-courage worthy story of Benedictine Fr. Mark Gruber, who honored the seal of confession to the point of losing of his job.

From the piece:

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A former student of the Rev. Mark Gruber has told both state police and canonical investigators that he downloaded pornography on the priest's computer. He says that Father Gruber knew that, but couldn't say so because he had sacramentally confessed that sin to the priest before the pornography was discovered. Priests are forbidden to reveal the contents of a confession under any circumstance.

But the former student has spoken with Father Gruber's canon lawyers, state police and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Father Gruber's suit says that on Dec. 15, the young man gave a sworn statement to the priest's canon lawyers, for the case that his Benedictine superior filed against him in Rome. He said he had downloaded pornography, and then confessed doing so.

The young man testified that "Father Mark has protected the seal of confession admirably even to the point of losing his job, his priestly faculties and allowing his reputation to be maligned."

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