Priest at center of Newark Archdiocese scandal quits ministry

Priest at center of Newark Archdiocese scandal quits ministry

The Roman Catholic priest at the center of a public furor enveloping Newark Archbishop John J. Myers has resigned from ministry, a spokesman for the archdiocese said tonight.
The Rev. Michael Fugee, who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a lifetime ban on such behavior, submitted his request to leave ministry this afternoon, said the spokesman, Jim Goodness. Myers promptly accepted the resignation, Goodness said.

more:

nj.com/news/index.ssf/201…uth_cou_1.html

There were calls for the Archbishop to resign for “protecting” Fugee but is there any evidence that he knew Rev Fugee was participating in youth activities, even though supervised?

I hope not. It sounds like the Parish’s youth ministers either didn’t understand or thought they were not violating the terms of the initial agreement. The Archbishop might not have been aware of this violation until recently. In this Archdocese, apparently unaware of the new rules regarding Safe Enviornments, parents let their young son have a 'sleep over" at the priest’s home…what WERE THEY THINKING? The boy caught the priest taking cell phone photos of him and has now been charged. But I am SURE our Archbishop was completely unaware of the lack of judgment of both parents and priest.

I hope this is cleared up! We don’t need any more of these stories for the MSM to grab hold of.

Lisa

One of the things that really struck me about this case, is that it would have not had the opportunity to occur had it not been for our culture’s obsession for preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The man was CONVICTED of sexual abuse in 2003, but the conviction was vacated:

Three years later, an appellate panel vacated the verdict, ruling the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to hear the part of Fugee’s confession in which he described himself as homosexual or bisexual.

The other people that I think need to answer some questions about this are the two youth leaders that permitted him to work with the youth group. If, as the article says, they are longtime friends, they would have known of the case, and the agreement he made with the prosecutors office, and had no business permitting him to be involved with the youth. At the very least, they should have immediately informed the Archbishop’s office (if they felt they had no authority to tell him to leave).

According to the updated article, the Archdiocese is claiming they knew nothing of the activities. I’m skeptical.

Funny, there was a time when I defended our Church ALL of the time. Something about this whole thing sounds fishy though.

Honestly the Church cannot win. How much criticism is leveled against Church teachings on homosexuality (Same Sex Attraction) mostly by those who don’t even know what it says. Yet when a homosexual abuses a young man or a boy, the reality is that his homosexuality had a LOT to do with why he abused that child. Yet we cannot acknowledge that homosexuality exists, much less causes a problem both inside and outside of the Church.

Since I converted right at the height of the abuse scandal, I did a lot of reading and research. I found that many of the offending priests were “treated” and given a clearance to continue as priests! It was a time when there were a lot of misconceptions about homosexuality and an unwillingness to recognize how it had invaded seminaries and parishes. It cannot be “cured” or “fixed” or whatever the psychiatrists claimed at the time. But the Church both in keeping with Christian teaching of forgiveness and redemption as well as the personal relationships that various priests had with their bishop or Archbishop, was severely damaged by the scandal. When the courts are also complicit in allowing abusers’ “rights” to trump the safety of the public, they are every bit as complicit in the results.

Lisa

Great post and information Lisa.:thumbsup:

This perspective on this particular incident seems to be informative, balanced and insightful.

marksilk.religionnews.com/2013/04/30/what-is-to-be-done-about-archbishop-myers/

In the interest of fairness, this article is a must:
catholicleague.org/star-ledgers-war-on-archbishop-myers/

Thank you. Truly shocking in this day and age given the continuing ramifications of the scandal. Our Archdiocese is very proactive in guarding young people. Those who even have remote contact with youth are required to be certified as going through safe environment training. We have strong protocols about never having any adult (other than a parent or family member of course) being alone with a minor…even something as innocent as giving the child a ride to a church event.

I am saddened that this Archbishop decided to substitute his own (questionable!) judgement for that of the ruling that would have prevented Fugee from even the appearance of scandal.

Pope Francis has a very challenging situation here but I have faith he will act appropriately

Lisa

Whether someone identifies their adult sexual preferences as homosexual or heterosexual is not predictive of whether or not they’ll sexually abuse a child.

Right…

Statistics say otherwise. Further, the point was that the scandal was HOMOSEXUAL PREDATORS preying upon mostly adolescent boys. These were not pedophiles despite the MSM’s desire to make the Church look as bad as possible.

Lisa

Cardinal Dolan is following this case as it appears that the Diocese has hired a noted lawyer. The pastor and youth pastors of St. Mary’s Catholic church in Colts Neck, N.J.
have since resigned.

northjersey.com/news/state/206730251_NY_s_Cardinal_Dolan_following_NJ_priest_probe.html

app.com/article/20130505/NJNEWS/305050060/colts-neck-pastor-resigns

The protection of our children should be of the utmost concern for the Catholic Church throughout the world. I can not think of any issue that is more important in re-establishing it’s credibility. Too many clergy-abused children have either committed suicide, or their lives have been effectively destroyed by such abuse.

Bishops and Cardinals who have been negligent in assuring the protection of God’s precious, vulnerable children should be held accountable.

:thumbsup:

Why would there ever be a need to have a sleepover at a priest’s home? For a child to have a sleepover anywhere other than at another child’s home (or a relative’s) is completely creepy and unwarranted. It’s really almost unbelievable that any parents would allow this.

Absolutely agree…people were stunned that the parents allowed this.
Lisa

I don’t get it either. The best I figure is the abusive priests get in good graces with the parents then draw the children to them. The abusive priest uses the parental approval of the priest with the child to both gain access to and subsequently silence the victim. Abuse by relatives works in a similar fashion, although the whole idea of a child sleepover at the priest’s house or the rectory or going on an overnight trip with a priest is just totally bizarre to me. :shrug:

It’s possible the parents were unaware of the abuse scandal. I know we all think this is well known but in some communities it’s not. I suspect the parents liked and trusted the priest.

Lisa

Actually, they don’t.

It was a cracker-jack box analysis.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.