http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abp_John_Myers.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abp_John_Myers.jpg

After maintaining radio silence for a month, Archbishop Myers of Newark made another effort at self-exoneration this week in a Q. and A. with the National Catholic Register. To say that his A’s strain credulity would be an understatement.

Asked whether by returning Rev. Michael Fugee to ministry he had violated the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children’s “zero tolerance” policy for all priests with credible accusations of clergy abuse, Myers said, “The memorandum of understanding worked out with the prosecutor’s office said he could function as a priest, but not with minors in an unsupervised capacity.”

That’s not the case. The memorandum makes clear that Fugee was not to minister to minors, period.

Myers continued: “The assignments I gave him were intended to increase supervision. He was in the chancery eight hours a day, and he was working with another priest to identify places where priests could participate in retreats. In that role, he had no contact with children.”

That’s far from the whole truth. Myers fails to mention that he also assigned Fugee to serve as a chaplain at St. Michael’s Medical Center without informing hospital administrators of the legal restrictions on him.

In his final answer, Myers said he didn’t think he would again “enter into an agreement with a civil authority that gives the supervisory function to the archdiocese. We would not enter into a memorandum of understanding that places a burden on the Church. The state has more resources. Our advice would be to tell the priest, ‘Go back for a second trial and clear your name.’”

In fact, however, the memorandum doesn’t give the archdiocese a supervisory function. It simply establishes restrictions on what Fugee could be assigned to do. The burden on Myers is that he failed to abide by the restrictions.

Categories: Institutions

Mark Silk

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you Mark for explaining Myer’s fibs. And there is this:

    quoted: “The average person is looking for a black-and-white answer, but there are cases where there are more grays than black and white,” Myers said. –

    Does Bishop Myers realize the seriousness of this issue? Yes, it is a black and white answer, Myers and Fugee violated a legal agreement.! Bishop Myers is NOT the law enforcement, even though he seems to take it upon himself to pretend to be the police and the court system. And their church review board is NOT the law enforcement..

    Also quoted: ” The archbishop mentioned a pastor who, “due to last-minute need”, asked Fugee to hear confessions for a youth retreat.” –

    A “last minute need to hear confessions for a youth retreat”?.. There is never an emergency so great for an admitted child predator to EVER be allowed to have access to kids. This excuse is outrageous, dangerous, very reckless, and self serving. Hearing confession should NEVER trump keeping an accused child predator away from innocent children.

    The archbishop said in the meantime, Fugee is living in a rectory of an “unnamed parish” where he cannot function publicly as a priest.?
    This is completely callous and very reckless. Fugee needs to be placed in a secure treatment center, and the public should be advised to his location. Children definitely are not safe in a “charismatic movement parish.”!

    It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever, and “the church officials know this”.
    So let’s hope that every person who saw, suspects or may have been harmed by Michael Fugee or anyone within the Newark Archdiocese, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, no matter how long ago it happened.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  2. The Star-Ledger of Newark broke this story, making it first page news day after day. This newspaper, as most liberal media, seem to be at war with the Catholic Church. When you read these articles, take notice of the names of the persons interviewed. Do some research. You will find that many of those interviewed have an agenda. Some are women who were nuns, who have left the Church, some are priests who have decided not to be obedient to the Church and have formed their own groups, celebrating Illicit Masses in Protestant Churches. The group “Voice of the Faithful” is usually mentioned. Their website says that they are a group of faithful Catholics. This can not be further from the truth. If one is not obedient to Church teachings, one is not faithful to the Church.

    I am not saying that there are not problems that must be looked into and be rectified, what I am saying is that many of those who are interviewed for these articles have an agenda – and you should not accept all of their words as truth.

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