Posts Tagged Archbishop John Myers
In troubled Newark archdiocese, hoping its new leader is a pastor, not a prince / The New York Times
… But Archbishop (Joseph) Tobin will face other challenges in Newark, where he will succeed Archbishop John J. Myers, the leader of the archdiocese’s 1.5 million Catholics for the past 15 years.
“Archbishop Myers — who in July turned 75, the age at which bishops routinely submit their resignations to the Vatican — has been faulted for the archdiocese’s handling of a case involving a priest convicted of sexual abuse. He has also come under fire for using more than $500,000 of church money to build an addition to his weekend home in Hunterdon County, N.J. — a three-story wing with an exercise pool and an elevator.
“‘It seems to me it is a place that needs some serious healing,’ Christopher M. Bellitto, a professor of history at Kean University in Union, N.J., said of the archdiocese.”
By James Barron, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Priests, nuns, and canon lawyers who advocate for molestation victims urged Pope Francis on Wednesday (July 29) to use the new Vatican tribunal he formed on negligent bishops to investigate the archbishop of Newark, who has long been accused of sheltering abusive priests.”
“The plea comes as Francis prepares for his first visit to the United States in September, a trip that will take place against the backdrop of the broad unfinished business of the molestation scandal. The crisis erupted in 2002 with the case of one pedophile priest in the Archdiocese of Boston before spreading nationwide, then engulfing the Roman Catholic Church.
“The advocates, who call themselves the Catholic Whistleblowers, said they will present evidence to the Vatican that Archbishop John Myers has been persistently hostile toward people who come forward with abuse allegations, and had left guilty clerics in parishes in the Newark Archdiocese and in his post as bishop of Peoria, Ill.”
By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Catholics in Newark, N.J., were outraged to learn that Archbishop John Myers had spent $500,000 for an extension on his retirement home. Catholics in Atlanta questioned the acceptability of Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s building a $2.2 million residence for himself. For many, these actions raised the questions: What is acceptable compensation for a sitting bishop and for a retired bishop? Who determines what’s acceptable?” By Mick Forgey, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Mater Dei Academy sits shuttered, blue drapes pulled across its windows, atop a hill in this working-class city. From its steps, you can peer across the mist-shrouded expanse of the Meadowlands to the distant spires of Manhattan.
“For generations, this blond brick Catholic elementary school tossed a lifeline to the immigrants who, wave upon wave, washed ashore here. The Archdiocese of Newark closed it two years ago. Church officials offered deep regrets; the church’s wallet is thin to the touch these days.
‘It was a loved place, that school,’ said Dorothy Gawronski, a crossing guard holding a red ‘Stop’ sign.’But the church, I don’t think it’s rich anymore.’
“All of which brings me along a winding and narrow road that switches back and forth across the wooded Capoolong Creek to a splendid 8.5-acre spread in the hamlet of Pittstown. This is rural and rather affluent Hunterdon County, 49 miles from Mater Dei.
“John J. Myers, the archbishop of the Newark Archdiocese, comes to this vacation home on many weekends. The 4,500-square-foot home has a handsome amoeba-shaped swimming pool out back. And as he’s 72, and retirement beckons in two years, he has renovations in mind. A small army of workers are framing a 3,000-square-foot addition.”
By Michael Powell, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Pope Francis’ appointment of Michigan Bishop Bernard Hebda to serve alongside John J. Myers as coadjutor archbishop of Newark might have been the first time the Vatican acted to discipline a bishop for dealing improperly with sexually abusive priests since John Paul II accepted Bernard Law’s resignation as archbishop of Boston in 2002. Coadjutors are often appointed when the Vatican wants to make clear its displeasure with a hierarch (e.g. the case of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle).” By Mark Silk, Religion News Service
Read the rest of Mark Silk’s commentary by clicking here.
One churchgoer on Sunday said he has a hard time buying the Newark archbishop’s explanation after a settlement was announced last week between an alleged sex-abuse victim and the Illinois diocese the archbishop once led. Others said he has made mistakes, with a few echoing the suggestion of some state lawmakers that he step down. Only a few of the more than dozen parishioners interviewed on Sunday praised Archbishop John J. Myers’ leadership and his handling of three priests accused of molesting children.” By Jeff Green, North Jersey Record
Read Green’s entire story by clicking here.
Voice of the Faithful® Expects Pope Francis to ‘Act Decisively’ in New Jersey Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
The Roman Catholic archbishop of Newark has allowed an admitted child molester to continue contact with young people, and Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® expects Pope Francis to “act decisively” as he said last week the Church must do in cases of clergy sexual abuse. Acting decisively should include holding accountable any bishop who fails to act responsibly in sex abuse cases. The question here: Will Pope Francis hold the archbishop accountable?
A New Jersey newspaper reported Apr. 28 that Newark Archbishop John Myers allowed a priest who had admitted groping a boy to continue working with children. This violated an agreement that barred the priest from ministering to children or holding any position involving children. The priest, Rev. Michael Fugee, has since resigned.
In addition to violating a probation agreement made by the diocese, Archbishop Myers appears to have violated the Church’s own canon laws. Voice of the Faithful® supports the position of Wisconsin priest and canon lawyer Rev. James Connell, who last week called for a Vatican investigation of this matter. In a letter to Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees clergy sexual abuse cases, Connell worte that, by allowing Rev. Michael Fugee to continue in ministry, Myers may have violated the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, which has the force of canon law.
Voice of the Faithful® expects the Vatican to act on Connell’s request and for Pope Francis to initiate an investigation if the CDF fails to act and to make all proceedings public.
The Vatican has been aware of clergy sexual abuse for centuries, was presented a detailed report in the mid-1980s and has faced worldwide publicity since 2002. In the past year, a monsignor and a bishop have been convicted for their involvement in the scandal and other bishops have been named in grand jury reports. Within the past month, the disclosure of tens of thousands of pages of secret documents has caused the current archbishop of Los Angeles to curtail the former archbishop’s public appearances. Similar disclosures have prompted a government inquiry in Australia, which started last week. This past weekend, an Ugandan priest forced the Church in Africa to confront clergy sexual abuse, which the hierarchy and conservative Church interests there have kept secret.
Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of concerned Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at our website.
At Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference in Boston this past September, Fr. James Connell, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and advocate for clergy sexual abuse victims/survivors, spoke about truth before healing in the Catholic Church’s clergy sexual abuse scandal. As one aspect in the search for that truth, Fr. Connell sent a letter on Apr. 29 to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for an investigation into Archbishop of Newark John Myers’ handling of the case of Rev. Michael Fugee, who pleaded guilty to groping a boy but was kept in ministry. You can read Fr. Connell’s letter on National Catholic Reporter’s website under the title Milwaukee Priest Wants Archbishop Myers Investigated.