John (bird whisperer)
Priest who admitted groping boy appointed to high-profile position in Newark Archdiocese | -
Priest who admitted groping boy appointed to high-profile position in Newark Archdiocese |
"A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to groping a teenage boy 12 years ago has been named to a prestigious post in the Archdiocese of Newark, drawing furious criticism from advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from unsupervised contact with children under a binding agreement with law enforcement officials, has been appointed co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests, the archdiocese recently announced in its newspaper, the Catholic Advocate. For several years, Fugee also has been director of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith, a fundraising position to support missionary work." - John (bird whisperer) from Bookmarklet
"Fugee, 52, was serving as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff when authorities charged him in 2001 with aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. He allegedly grabbed the crotch of a 14-year-old boy while wrestling with him at the teen’s home and on a vacation in Williamsburg, Va. Under questioning by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Wyckoff police, Fugee admitted touching the teen, saying he did it intentionally, that it sexually excited him and that he knew it was a “violation,” according to a transcript of his statement. He later recanted, claiming he lied so he could go home earlier. In 2003, a jury in Bergen County convicted him of the sexual contact count but acquitted him of the endangering charge. Sentenced to five years’ probation, Fugee appealed. Three years later, an appellate panel overturned the verdict on the grounds that the trial judge gave improper instructions to jurors." - John (bird whisperer)
"Goodness, the spokesman, characterized Fugee as a victim in the case, saying the priest had been through a “terrible ordeal.” “The whole situation that caused this ordeal was not pleasant for anybody,” Goodness said. “However, at the end of it and the whole legal process he went through, he was determined by the courts to be unfairly judged in the trial. As a result, that should not penalize a priest from returning to a ministry.” Fugee's new role is an influential one, with a responsibility for shaping the education and so-called formation of priests in the archdiocese. That includes researching programs and workshops in New Jersey and elsewhere and alerting priests to them, Goodness said. Fugee is not likely to engage in one-on-one counseling with priests, the spokesman said." - John (bird whisperer)
"Fugee continues to celebrate Mass daily at parishes across the archdiocese — which includes Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union counties — but Goodness declined to identify specific churches. While children are certainly present in such situations, Fugee will not be alone with them, Goodness said. “He’s on the altar, and families go home after Mass,” the spokesman said." - John (bird whisperer)
"In a brief interview with The Star-Ledger, Fugee’s alleged victim, now 26, called the priest’s elevation to a second high-profile post “outrageous.” “Does it come as any surprise to me? No, not really, just seeing how everything has been swept under the rug in the past or at least ignored enough to get these promotions,” said the man, whose name has been withheld by the newspaper because he is an alleged victim of sexual abuse. “It doesn't surprise me remotely.” The man, who still resides in Bergen County, added that while the alleged incident took place more than a decade ago, “this will be part of my life for the rest of my life.” Other critics of the move contend it demonstrates a pattern of questionable decisions by Myers involving Fugee and other priests." - John (bird whisperer)
"While children are certainly present in such situations, Fugee will not be alone with them" <-- This here isn't really true. A lot of abuse has involved altar servers, and as long as a parish assigns altar servers to the masses Fugee is saying, he'll have opportunities to be alone with one. - John (bird whisperer)
O_o - Derrick
*sigh* And people continue to send their children to this rotten organization. - Eivind
Enraging. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
I know you are right, Janet. I think the organization is, though. It's systemic. - Eivind
I'm not sure what that has to do with the Church's own past, and continuing problems? I agree that there are pedophiles that exist outside religious organizations, but the issue here seems to be the officially sanctioned protection of the ones that exist within the Catholic Church, specifically. This is another example of how they choose to handle these situations. - Jennifer Dittrich
I think anytime that you have adults placed in positions where they're trusted to be alone with minors, some of those adults are going to betray that trust, whether they're priests or schoolteachers or bus drivers or football coaches or anything else. The question to me is what happens when it comes to light: do supervisors report it to the authorities and make sure the abuser doesn't have further opportunities to be alone with minors? Or do they try to sweep it under the rug or shuffle the abuser into other positions? The latter, to me, is a sign of organizational corruption, and it's not going to change until supervisors (in this case the bishops) start getting held responsible for this stuff. Myers has been particularly irresponsible. - John (bird whisperer)