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Sunday, April 28, 2013

America's Worst Bishop Must Go!

"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."
New Jersey's largest newspaper today called for the resignation of the Archbishop of Newark, John J. Myers  (full text below).

John J. Myers, the corrupt Archbishop of Newark
I had my own experience with the pompous and arrogant Archbishop of Newark over a decade ago, and when time permits I will tell that story.  

He has been at war with the people he should have been serving almost since the day he arrived in Newark.  I have seen this day coming for a long time, but it is regrettable that so much damage has been done in more than a decade.  Scores of schools in the Archdiocese of Newark have been closed because Archbishop Myers has demonstrated, again and again, that he will only stand up for the well-being of clergy.  Indeed, he has been criminally negligent in ensuring the safety and well-being of New Jersey families and their children.  As a good friend put it, "he's thoroughly a company man, working for Clerical Worker's Local #417 rather than for the people."  It is a pattern that developed prior to his appointment to Newark when he was Bishop of Peoria.  Even then he made excuses for the buggery of children and attempted to reinstate a priest suspended for child sexual abuse.  He refused to meet with the priest's victims, and when families finally expressed their outrage through the media, Myers commented that he "didn't realize they would be so upset."  In virtually any field of endeavor, it would be hard to find anyone more insensitive and with a worse sense of public relations.
Some will say in defense of Archbishop Myers that he is a "conservative" or that he is "orthodox."  I would respond that his is a sort of orthodoxy and  conservatism that does irreparable damage and impedes the work of truly faithful, orthodox churchmen striving to build up the Body of Christ.  

If Pope Francis intends to carry forward Pope Benedict's efforts to purge the Church of its "filth," the corrupt and destructive Archbishop of Newark should be the first to go.  Eventually, the legal system will prosecute and convict this thug for criminal conspiracy and negligence, but it would be a hopeful sign if Church authorities deal with the very worst of corrupt, American bishops first. 

After all the Catholic Church has been through, it is beyond infuriating that Newark Archbishop John J. Myers can be so neglectful of his duty to protect children from sexual predators. 

He should resign immediately and apologize to the families whose children he left exposed, barring some stunning new disclosure that could exonerate him in the face of the damning facts presented by The Star-Ledger’s Mark Mueller in today’s edition.

The case concerns Michael Fugee, a priest who was convicted in a sexual abuse case in 2003 after he confessed to fondling a 14-year-old boy, and being a compulsive masturbator obsessed with penis size.

The conviction was overturned when a higher court found the judge had given improper instructions to jurors. Instead of trying Fugee again, as they should have, prosecutors allowed him to avoid jail by joining a program for first-offenders.

Part of the deal was an agreement that Fugee signed, along with the archdiocese, committing all parties to keeping Fugee away from minors.

Fugee was not to work in any position involving children, or have any affiliation with youth groups. He could not attend youth retreats, or even hear the confessions of children.

With the full knowledge and approval of Myers, Fugee did all of those things. Look at the picture of him clowning around with children in today’s paper, and it makes you want to scream a warning. The agreement was designed to prevent exactly that.

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.

Unlike some other bishops, Myers will not release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of abuse. 

In 2004, he wrote a letter of recommendation to six dioceses in Florida for one priest, a week after learning the priest had been accused of assaulting a woman after breaking into her house. The same year, he banned one priest from public ministry after investigating an allegation that he had abused a boy, but did not notify laypeople or other priests. In 2007, he did not tell laypeople about a credible finding of molestation against a priest working in Elizabeth and Jersey City, information that was finally turned up by a victims’ group.

Fugee is, or at least was, the real danger. He seems to think he can break the rules. It is Myers’ job to stop him, and he is instead enabling him.

He is refusing to discuss any of this. Our hope is the prosecutors press him to do so. He is a part to the agreement on Fugee, which was signed by the archdiocese’s vicar general on behalf of Myers, and which has clearly been broken.

In the meantime, for the sake of the children, Myers should step down.

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