It’s not like he stole money or anything … because then he would have gone to jail AND been excommunicated.
Eleven years after the U.S. Bishops’ Conference promised to “Mak[e] prompt and effective response to allegations; Cooperat[e] with civil authorities; and Disciplin[e] offenders,” we are offered this charming nugget from the New Jersey Star-Ledger:
Six years ago, to avoid retrial on charges that he groped a teenage boy, the Rev. Michael Fugee entered a rehabilitation program, underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed a binding agreement that would dictate the remainder of his life as a Roman Catholic priest.
Fugee would not work in any position involving children, the agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office states. He would have no affiliation with youth groups. He would not attend youth retreats. He would not hear the confessions of minors.
He has attended weekend youth retreats in Marlboro and on the shores of Lake Hopatcong in Mount Arlington, parishioners say. Fugee also has traveled with members of the St. Mary’s youth group on an annual pilgrimage to Canada. At all three locations, he has heard confessions from minors behind closed doors.
The article is also full of pictures of Fugee on trips and retreats with teens and adults in the U.S. and Canada.
Victims groups, the Star Ledger, a prominent Wisconsin priest and New Jersey lawmakers have called on Myers to step down, saying the archbishop has displayed “arrogance” and a lack of common sense over his handling of the Rev. Michael Fugee, 52, who admitted fondling a 14-year-boy in 2001.
Parishioners are rightfully disgusted, saying that they were not warned that the priest was a child predator.
Myers has remained silent, saying through a spokesperson that Fugee is a priest allowed to remain in ministry (and inferring that if Fugee breaks his promises and hangs out with kids, well, then that’s the KIDS’ problem).