If This Happened In My Diocese, The Bishop Would Know My Eye Color Down to the Flecks…UPDATED

Me and my lifetime ban, hangin’ with the kids…

He would see them up close and personal when I asked questions like, “Isn’t there an abbot in a remote monastery who needs a permanent dishwasher in the scullery for work while said dishwasher is not praying the Divine Office? Why is this man not sent there?”

Who is Father Michael Fugee, and why should you care? Folks in New Jersey are pretty familiar with him and his story. His handling, or mishandling, by Archbishop John J. Myers is pretty much the thing of which legends are made. Legendary ineptness, I mean.

Amid calls for a Vatican investigation, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers came under fierce criticism Monday for his handling of a priest who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a lifetime ban on ministry to children.

At the Monmouth County church where the Rev. Michael Fugee had been spending time with a youth group, angry parishioners said they were never told about Fugee’s background and they questioned Myers’ defense of the priest, the subject of a lengthy story in the Sunday Star-Ledger.

“It’s complete craziness that the church can let this happen,” said John Santulli, 38, a father of two at St. Mary Parish in Colts Neck. “I’m a softball coach, and I need a background check just to get on the field. Every single person I spoke to today said, ‘Oh my God. I didn’t know about this.’ It’s incomprehensible.”

Trenton Bishop David M. O’Connell, who previously said Fugee was operating in the diocese without his knowledge or permission, has ordered the pastor of St. Mary to bar the priest from any church activities, a spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.

The bishop of Paterson, Arthur Serratelli, has likewise said Fugee was on a retreat at Lake Hopatcong without permission.

For the first time in his many years as an advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called on the archbishop to resign, characterizing Fugee as the latest in a string of problem priests shielded by Myers.

“The archbishop continues to insist it’s fine for Fugee to work with children. It’s a very dangerous message,” Crawford said. “When will it be enough? When someone gets hurt? What does it take when you have a man who has admitted groping a child on more than one occasion?”

Read the whole, sordid, story.

“Whoa, Frank. What gives you the right to question anything an Archbishop is doing?”

Common sense, dear reader, and the diligent exercising of the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ, is what. Let’s just say that if it was up to me, they would both be put on permanent mess duty in a location where there are no children who could possibly come within their orbits. Obviously, that isn’t the case today.

“Lifetime ban on ministry to children.” I don’t think that means what you think it means, Your Excellency. We’re trying to be disciples here, see, and have been tasked by Christ Himself to make disciples of others. How are you helping this mission along by enforcing “lifetime bans” like this?

Pray tell.


Deacon Greg Kandra, Report: priest who admitted to groping teenager continues to work with children

Mark Shea, What is the *matter* with this guy?

A little post I wrote about transplanting dandelions, back in the day.


Has Archbishop Meyers Lifted the Lifetime Ban From Ministering to Youth For Fr. Michael Fugee?

Look deeply into my eyes…

  • Theodore Seeber

    Latest report from the Archbishop trying to defend himself, is that some unnamed youth group leaders who are friends with Father Mike, asked him to substitute when other priests backed out of retreats.

    Three times.

    I say, if the Archbishop wants to keep his post, those youth group leaders need to *lose their jobs and their background check cards* and be reported to the background check people.

    And even if the Archbishop resigns over this, that should happen. This is incomprehensible.

    • Ann

      I agree with you on the youth ministers. Remember, these Lenehans also work with children in their “day jobs.” Amy Lenehan is a public school teacher and I believe her husband works with children in some respect as well. Should they be trusted with anyone’s children anymore?

  • Dcn. Chick O’Leary

    From the Archdiocese of Newark web site is this portion of an interview with Archbishop Meyers:
    Q. What is the status of sex scandal cases related to priests in New Jersey?

    A. I cannot speak for all of New Jersey, but I can speak for the Archdiocese of Newark. At this time there is no person, whether priest, religious or layperson, on assignment in the archdiocese against whom there have been substantiated accusations of sexual abuse.

    Has the local policy then changed? This appears to be a case of reckless indifference. Shame!

    • Dale

      In February of this year, Archbishop Myers sent to all priests under his jurisdiction. In the letter, the archbishop claimed that a review board had decided that Fr. Fugee did not commit any sexual abuse. In returning Fugee to active ministry, Archbishop Myers stated he fully followed the recommendations of the county prosecutor.

      The entire letter can be read at this link:

  • Judy Jones

    It would appear that Archbishop John J. Myers may have blatantly broken the law and it is becoming pretty clear that the Newark Archdiocese needs to have a Grand Jury Investigation into how they handle child sex crimes.
    It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever, and the church officials know this.
    So let’s hope that every person who saw, suspects or may has been harmed by Michael Fugee, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  • unapologetic actholic

    Unfortuunately, Bishop Myers cares not what color anybody’s eye flecks are.

    Millstone time.

  • http://bradminer@optimum.net Brad Miner

    Well done, Frank. Simply astonishing that we’re so many years into this nonsense and some in the hierarchy still don’t get it.

  • Bob Schwiderski

    Here’s a shocking list of 228 accused clerics, nuns and staff