FATHER ANDREW DOWGIERT,
4. Plaintiff, Father Dowgiert, was ordained a Catholic
priest in Poland in l988. After working for five years as and becoming fully vested as a priest in Poland, Father Dowgiert requested and received permission to be sent to Zimbawe as a missionary priest.
8. After arriving in the Miami Archdiocese in 1999, Archbishop John C. Favalora assigned Father Dowgiert to St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church in Key Largo, Florida under a non-celibate priest who was terminated for sexual misconduct on a minor. Specifically, Father Dowgiert was engaged as Vicar General and priest with supervision and control under the Archdiocese's General Archdiocesan Faculties. From 1999 to 2002, Father Dowgiert stayed at St. Justin Martyr, carrying out the duties of a priest and administering and operating the parish when no other pastor was assigned.
9. Eventually, another full-time priest was assigned to St. Justin Martyr, and after approximately one year, Father Dowgiert requested that the Archbishop transfer him to another parish.
10. In June, 2003, Father Dowgiert was transferred to Good Shepherd parish in Miami as an assistant to Father Michael Greer.
11. During the time he was assigned to Good Shepard parish, Father Dowgiert received repeated sexual advances from his supervisor and fellow priest, Father Michael Greer. Father Dowgiert repeatedly complained to and rebuked Father Greer for such unwanted advances, the theft of parishioner money from the church safe, and that Father Greer spent more time at his own waterfront condominium in the company of young seminarians than at the parish.
12. In 2004, the Archbishop transferred Father Dowgiert to All Saints Church in Sunrise, Florida under Father Anibal Morales as Parochial Vicar and Assistant to Pastor.
13. Soon after his arrival at All Saints, Father Morales left on a six-week vacation with his domestic partner and co-tenant, Carlos Insignares. While absent from the parish, Father Dowgiert was obliged to manage all parish matters and sign checks. He refused to sign numerous questionable checks for dubious expenditures. Father Dowgiert declared that he intended to bring the matters to the attention of the Archbishop.
14. Within days, on or about September 30, 2004, Father Morales caused a letter to be sent to Monsignor William J. Hennessey, concerning Father Dowgiert. The aforesaid letter was personally handed to Father Dowgiert during a meeting with Monsignor Hennessey during the first week of October, 2004.
15. Upon reading the letter, Monsignor Hennessey informed Father Dowgiert that he would be sent to a facility for psychological and alcohol "treatment" for a year. Father Dowgiert denied that he had any problem which needed treatment, but would obey Monsignor Hennessey's command after he spoke to a lawyer.
16. In fact, the practice of the Archdiocese is to retaliate against priests who object or refuse to participate in the illegal activities of the Archdiocese by sending them to be "re-educated" at the Church's modern-day gulags.
17. Informed of Father Dowgiert's desire to speak to a lawyer, Monsignor Hennessey immediately terminated Father Dowgiert's employment with the Archdiocese. At the time of his termination, Father Dowgiert was one month from being incardinated by the Archdiocese.
18. Subsequent to his firing by Monsignor Hennessey, Father Dowgiert sought continued employment as a priest in the Great Meadows Diocese in New Jersey. Though employed as a priest in New Jersey, Archbishop Favarola, the so-called "Don" contacted the Bishop at the Great Meadows Diocese and had him terminated. Indeed in May, 2005, Archbishop Favalora contacted Father Andrew's previous Bishop from Poland and requested that he suspend Father Andrew from the priesthood.
19. The Plaintiff, Father Dowgiert, has agreed to pay undersigned counsel a reasonable attorney's fees and is obligated to pay same.
20. Plaintiff realleges that allegations of paragraphs 1 through 19.
21. Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. has retaliated and continues to retaliate against Plaintiff, Father Andrew Dowgiert, because he has objected to and refused to participate in the activities and policies of the Defendant, his employer, which are in violation of the laws, rules, and regulations of the State of Florida. These activities and policies including the following:
a. his objection the theft of Parish and/or Archdiocese money from St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church in excess of $15,000.00 of which a portion was to be paid to Father Andrew;
b. his objection to Father Edward Olszewski's active, non-celibate behavior and specifically his previous abuse of a minor,
c. his objection to preferential employment advantages given to active, non-celibate homosexual priests over celibate heterosexual priests throughout the Archdiocese and specifically at each of the parishes at which he worked in the Archdiocese;
d. his objection to the theft of Parish funds from the Good Shepard parish;
e. his objection to the theft and excessive spending of Parish funds from All Saints Parish by Father Morales; and f. his continuing objection to Archdiocese priests and officials engaging in improper behavior, including but not limited to, creating, sharing, and disseminating internet pornography,
g. his objection to the Father Morales' domestic partner and co-tenant's continual presence at All Saints Parish especially in light of the former seminarians sexual misconduct,
h. his objection to Father Greer living separate from the rectory in his condo on the water and in addition to living in housing on the parish's ground and establishing a non-celibate, permissive retreat for young homosexual seminarians.
22. The retaliation in the past and continued retaliation against Father Dowgiert by the Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. is prohibited by Florida law, specifically, '448.102, Florida Statutes.
23. As a result of the Defendant's actions, Plaintiff has been damaged. Pursuant to '448.103(2), Florida Statutes, Plaintiff demands the following relief:
a. reinstatement as a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Miami;
b. an injunction restraining the Defendant from further retaliatory action against Father Dowgiert by the Archdiocese;
c. reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;
d. compensation for lost wages and benefits;
e. damages for mental anguish and inconvenience,
f. attorney's fees and costs.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Father Andrew Dowgiert, demands judgment against Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc. for compensatory damages, attorneys fees, and costs, and demands trial by jury of all issues so triable.
23. Plaintiff realleges the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 18.
24. Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc., through its agents and at the direction of its agents, Archbishop Favalora, Monsignor Hennessey, and Father Anibal Morales, caused false statements to be published and republished to the parishioners of All Saints parish and to others in the Archdiocese that Father Dowgiert was terminated by the Archdiocese for alcoholism and a mental disturbance.
25. Father Dowgiert is an immigrant from Poland and English is his second language and that Defendant intentionally attempted to falsely portray the Plaintiff as an alcoholic and mentally disturbed as false grounds to support these false accusations pointed to Father Dowgiert's accent and cultural background.
26. The statements made of and concerning Father Dowgiert tended to expose Father Dowgiert to hatred ridicule or contempt and tended to injure him in his reputation.
26. The false statements of and concerning Father Dowgiert were published and republished by the Defendant, Archdiocese, for the improper and illegal motives of intentionally injuring Father Dowgiert in his reputation and in retaliation for his opposition to illegal practices and policies of the Archdiocese.
27. As a result of the slanderous statements of the Defendant, Father Dowgiert has been damaged. Specifically, he has suffered injury to his reputation and feelings, in his ability to practice his vocation as a priest, and in nominal damages.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Father Andrew Dowgiert, demands judgment against the Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc., for compensatory damages and costs and demands trial by jury of all issues so triable.
28. Plaintiff realleges the allegations of paragraphs 1 to 19.
29. At the time that the Plaintiff, Father Dowgiert, was initially appointed as a priest in the Archdiocese of Miami, the policy and practice of the Archdiocese, which policies were set forth in Archdiocesan writings, was that priests who have been appointed to serve as priests for a period of five (5) years would be incardinated in the Archdiocese. Furthermore, the policy and practice of the Archdiocese was that a priest could not be removed from his appointment within the Archdiocese except for cause.
30. Upon incardination, a priest in the Archdiocese was considered vested and entitled to lifetime employment, benefits, and retirement from the Archdiocese.
31. Plaintiff, Father Andrew Dowgiert fully and completely satisfied the requirements of incardination by serving without cause for termination for a period of four years and eleven months.
32. Defendant, Archdiocese, breached its contract with Father Dowgiert, by terminating him without cause in October, 2004.
33. As a result of the breach of the contract of Father Dowgiert's employment, Father Dowgiert has been damaged.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Father Andrew Dowgiert, demands judgment against the Defendant, Archdiocese of Miami, Inc., costs and attorney's fees and demands trial by jury of all issues so triable.