Archbishop Myers continues to show his contempt for New Jersey’s kids and laws. Now, the burden falls to his bosses, his peers and his flock.
His bosses – from Pope Francis (the head of the church) to Cardinal Timothy Dolan (the head of America’s bishops) - must, at the very least, strongly and publicly denounce Myers. He’s deliberately endangering children. And he’s making a total mockery of every pledge and promise the Catholic hierarchy has made for decades about allegedly “reforming” their approach to clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Myers’ peers – America’s bishops (not just those in New Jersey) – must similarly denounce him. Ignoring wrongdoing encourages wrongdoing. And in November 2002, America’s bishops committed themselves to “fraternally correct” their colleagues who violate church abuse policy, as Myers has clearly and repeatedly done. America’s bishops must, if they are to have any credibility on abuse, speak up loudly and clearly now.
Myers’ flock must also take action. They must stop donating to any institution even remotely connected with the archdiocese. We urge them to contribute more generously than ever before, but to contribute to organizations that protect kids, not endanger kids.
Eleven years ago, the US church hierarchy pledged to change how it deals with clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. Since then, this promise has often been honored in the breach.
This case, however, is the single most egregious one we’ve seen since 2002. Myers is knowingly endangering kids and betraying Catholics. He’s intentionally rubbing even more salt into the wounds of Fr. Fugee’s victim. And like Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, he’s thumbing his nose at the secular justice system.
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Newark is outraged and emboldened by Myers’ recklessness, callousness, selfishness and arrogance. We hope they will find the strength to step forward, get help, call police, expose misdeeds, protect kids, deter wrongdoing and start healing.