Sweeney joins calls for resignation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers


Sweeney joins calls for resignation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
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on May 08, 2013 at 10:33 AM, updated May 08, 2013 at 12:47 PM

From the link: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/05/senate_president_stephen_sween_3.html

The Most Reverend John J. Myers, fifth Archbishop of Newark talks about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become Pope Francis while at The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is elect as the new Pope and will take the name Francis. Parishioners at St. Lucy's Church pray for him.  Wednesday March 13, 2013. Newark, NJ, USA.  Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger

The Most Reverend John J. Myers, fifth Archbishop of Newark talks about the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become Pope Francis while at The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina is elect as the new Pope and will take the name Francis. Parishioners at St. Lucy’s Church pray for him. Wednesday March 13, 2013. Newark, NJ, USA. Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger

 

NEWARK — State Senate President Stephen Sweeney this morning joined in calls for the resignation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers over his supervision of a priest who violated a lifetime ban on working with children.

Sweeney (D-Gloucester), joins Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) in seeking Myers’ ouster. Advocates for victims of sexual abuse also have demanded Myers step down.

While politicians rarely venture into the affairs of the Roman Catholic church, let alone demand the resignation of an archbishop, Myers’ handling of the Rev. Michael Fugee has drawn sharp criticism from across the country.

“As the days go on, it becomes clearer and clearer that Archbishop Myers cannot remain in his position,” Sweeney said in a statement.

Fugee, who admitted fondling a 13-year-boy in a confession to police 12 years ago, attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors behind closed doors through his association with St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck, The Star-Ledger reported late last month. On Saturday, the pastor and two youth ministers resigned.

The newspaper later found Fugee had attended youth group events at Holy Family Church in Nutley, where he is friends with the pastor, Monsignor Paul Bochicchio.
Fugee, 52, was granted a leave from ministry late last week. While he remains a priest, he may not say Mass, wear clerical garb or perform other priestly duties.

Sweeney called the allegations “deeply disturbing” and said the resignations in Colts Neck only make the case “more troubling.”

The Senate president also was critical of Myers’ silence on the issue and of the shifting accounts offered by his spokesman, James Goodness.

Goodness initially told The Star-Ledger Fugee was within the scope of a court-sanctioned agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office because he was under the supervision of other priests or lay ministers at the time. Later in the week, after prosecutors began an investigation, Goodness said Fugee had clearly violated the agreement but that he did so without the knowledge of the archbishop or other officials in the archdiocese.

Citing the potential danger to children, Sweeney said Myers must be held accountable for the lapses.

“Those who are put in a position of trust, whether it be through elected office, as a coach, or as a person of faith, must be held to a higher standard.,” he said. “And when we are talking about children, that need to trust those in charge leaves absolutely no margin for error. Archbishop Myers must step down now.”

Fugee was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual contact at trial in 2003. The verdict was overturned three years later. An appellate panel ruled jurors should not have been told Fugee questioned his sexual identity. The panel did not dispute the validity of the confession.

Rather that retry Fugee, the prosecutor’s office allowed him to enter pre-trial intervention on the condition that he undergo counseling for sex offenders and sign the binding agreement. The archdiocese’s vicar general also signed the document, essentially pledging to keep Fugee away from children.

About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on May 8, 2013, in Archbishop John J. Myers, Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Father Michael Fugee, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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