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Allegations Against Priest by Sisters of Life: Accusations Unveiled

The Sisters of Life, based in New York, have informed the Vatican about a priest who allegedly groomed and manipulated sisters while providing spiritual guidance to members of the community.

The priest in question, Fr. David Nicgorski, has faced previous accusations of misconduct in spiritual counseling and of sexually assaulting a religious sister. His religious order, the Oblates of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has chosen not to clarify his current status.

According to sources familiar with the situation, the Sisters of Life submitted a report to the Vatican earlier this year regarding Nicgorski’s behavior. It was reported that he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with sisters from another religious community during spiritual counseling sessions, which allegedly led to a sexual assault in one instance.

Nicgorski is said to have acted inappropriately with members of the Sisters of Life during spiritual direction sessions in the 2000s, including reportedly manipulating a sister under his guidance in a serious sexual manner.

The Sisters of Life’s report, forwarded to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, could trigger an investigation into various canonical offenses related to abuse, potentially resulting in Nicgorski’s laicization.

Allegations made by the Sisters of Life echo similar claims raised by former members of the Daughters of St. Paul against Nicgorski. These allegations include grooming through explicit sexual conversations, manipulation of trust, inappropriate physical contact, and even sexual assault.

Despite penalties imposed on Nicgorski by the Vatican in 2017, prohibiting him from offering spiritual direction for five years, some believe that further action is warranted. The recent report from the Sisters of Life may push for a more decisive response from the Vatican due to the consistency in the allegations against Nicgorski.

Questions have also been raised about how the Sisters of Life community initially handled the allegations against Nicgorski, with suggestions that at least one sister reported misconduct to a superior in 2007 or 2008.

Nicgorski, who served as U.S. provincial superior of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and later as superior general of the order, has faced a series of allegations spanning from 2009 to 2017. Despite having his priestly faculties revoked by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2017, his current status within the Oblates of the Virgin Mary remains unclear.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life has been involved in addressing complaints against Nicgorski, as indicated by correspondence dating back to 2015. This suggests ongoing Vatican scrutiny of the priest’s behavior.

The prevalence of harassment and abuse within religious communities, particularly involving adult victims, has been a growing concern within the Church. Recent reforms to the Church’s penal law aim to facilitate the prosecution of such cases in the future.

Queries directed to the Vatican press office and the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life by The Pillar have yet to receive responses.