Newark Archbishop John Myers turns up at court in Bergen County
HACKENSACK – Newark Archbishop John J. Myers visited the Bergen County Courthouse on Thursday, months after a local priest was arrested on seven counts accusing him of violating a lifetime ban on ministering to children, charges that were referred to a grand jury.
The priest, the Rev. Michael Fugee, a former assistant pastor of a Wyckoff parish, was found guilty in 2003 of groping a teenage boy, but the conviction was overturned three years later because of a judicial error. He and the archdiocese later signed an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that barred him from working with children. He was returned to the ministry in 2009.
Prosecutors in May charged Fugee with seven felony counts of contempt of a judicial order, claiming he violated the agreement by hearing confessions from minors seven times from April 2010 to December 2012 at various churches, a retreat center and a private home.
A grand jury typically decides in private whether felony charges are...
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.