Support group urges parishioners to report any alleged abuse by priest
A support group for clergy sex-abuse victims wants two New Jersey Catholic bishops to reach out to parishioners and get them to report any allegations of abuse by a priest who once confessed to touching an underage boy.
The bishops of the Diocese of Trenton and the Diocese of Paterson should reach out through church bulletins and websites to help victims step forward with any instances of abuse involving the Rev. Michael Fugee, who until recently worked at St. Mary’s parish in Colts Neck with its youth ministry, said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
In a letter sent to to Diocese of Trenton Bishop David O’Connell and Diocese of Paterson Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, SNAP members wrote, “We strongly urge you, as church leaders in the areas where Fr. Fugee ministered — officially or unofficially, with or without permission — to appeal for victims and witnesses to come forward and report any abuse.”
Fugee, a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, resigned last week. Parishioners at St. Mary’s in Colts Neck say Fugee had been involved with a parish youth group in defiance of an agreement with Bergen County prosecutors that he not work with children.
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