Admitted predator priest still lives in a rectory, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, June 25
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Even now, an admitted and convicted Newark predator priest is living in an undisclosed rectory, Archbishop John Myers admitted in a newly published interview.
That’s outrageously reckless. Myers should immediately move Fr. Michael Fugee to a remote, secure, independently-run treatment center, far away from those he has hurt.
Fr. Fugee has admitted – and been found guilty – of hurting a Catholic child. Myers is in charge of protecting Catholic children. So why is Myers letting Fr. Fugee live near Catholic children in a Catholic building in a Catholic parish?
And for the sake of public safety, Myers should disclose where he’s been letting Fr. Fugee live for the past few weeks.
In the same interview, Myers remains unrepentant, claiming it was “appropriate” for him to put Fr. Fugee back in ministry after a jury had found him guilty of abuse.
According to The Record, “Myers said his review board led a ‘professional’ inquiry, looking into the allegations ‘as if they were cops.’” That’s ludicrous. A small, secretive hand-picked Catholic panel cannot act “as if they were cops” any more than they can act as if they were doctors or lawyers or therapists.
Myers refuses to even disclose who is on this panel. By definition, they are anything but independent.
We wonder if Myers makes his personal financial decisions, or archdiocesan financial decisions, by consulting a small, secretive hand-picked panel which may or may not have any relevant financial expertise.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.