The New Jersey Star Ledger has called for the resignation of Newark Archbishop John Myers. The editorial was published in response to Archbishop Myers’ reinstatement of a Catholic priest who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in 2003. The conviction was later overturned because a higher court ruled that the trial judge had given improper instructions to the jury. Rather than re-trying Fugee, which should have been done, the prosecutors had Fugee and the Archdiocese commit to staying away from minors. Yet, Fugee is working with minors and is in charge of helping young priests in the Archdiocese.
The editorial notes, “This is not the first time Myers has shown contempt for the safety of children in his flock. While many bishops are making a sincere efforts to rehabilitate the church, Myers has shown a pattern of leniency toward pedophiles, indifference to potential victims, and a haughty disdain for those who dare to question his judgment. Before this latest flare-up with Fugee, Myers had promoted him to an influential position in the church as co-director of the office that helps guide young priests, sending precisely the wrong message. Earlier this year, Fugee was found to be saying Mass and living at the rectory of a church in Rochelle Park. Parishioners had not been told of his criminal past, so again, children were exposed. In 2009, Myers appointed Fugee chaplain of St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, again without telling the hospital about Fugee’s restrictions.”
If Myers won’t voluntarily resign, newly-elected Pope Francis should strip him of his duties as archbishop if he is serious about reforming the church. However, if past behavior is any indication of the future, this pope will do nothing and Fugee and Archbishop Myers will continue to flaunt the law and public safety.