NJ--Vatican put credibly accused predator on the job
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
For the second time in days, Vatican officials have been caught endangering kids by putting or keeping credibly accused child molesters on the job, this time in Newark, New Jersey. In this alarming case, Newark’s abuse panel – made up mostly of lay people – and perhaps a dozen or more current and former Newark priests are implicated too, because they knew about glaring recklessness and kept silent about it.
(The other case involve Italian priests who molested hearing-impaired kids, were reported to the Vatican a few years ago, but have since moved to South America where they’ve kept working and have repeated their crimes.)
Fr. Kevin Gugliotta was arrested in October on child pornography charges. But today, a news report reveals that 13 years earlier, in 2003, he’d been accused of child sex crimes, suspected (under a lie) but put back in ministry because Vatican officials insisted he be put back. Why? Because he wasn’t yet a priest when he allegedly assaulted the child.
Shame on every Catholic employee or volunteer, in Rome and Newark, who was a decision-maker in this travesty.
Shame on every one of the dozens more, in Rome and Newark, who, over 14 years, learned about this credible child sex report and the Vatican’s irresponsible, secret decision, and did nothing about it.
We call on Pope Francis to demote or at least discipline the Vatican bureaucrats who in any way played any role in this stunningly hurtful secrecy and selfishness. We call on Newark’s Cardinal Joseph Tobin to do the same in his corrupt archdiocese.
Newark archdiocesan PR man Jim Goodness claims that he and his Newark Catholic colleagues could do nothing “canonically” about Fr. Gugliotta. What absurdity. Absolutely nothing prevented them from simply disclosing that this predator priest had been accused of abuse. Absolutely nothing prevented them from fighting the Vatican decision. Absolutely nothing prevented them from resigning in protest and speaking out. Absolutely nothing prevented them from telling law enforcement about the abuse report against Fr. Gugliotta.
Even if they could not, according to church policies, levy some punishment against Fr. Gugliotta, they could and should have done something even more important: warning parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public. Had they done so, other victims of Fr. Gugliotta would have been spared.
Over decades, we can’t help but wonder how many other bishops were told by how many other Vatican officials that child molesting clerics couldn’t be ousted because they were teachers, coaches or day care providers when they sexually assaulted boys and girls. This is mind-numbing, “through the looking glass” selfishness.
We can’t help but wonder how many criminals and potential criminals have noticed and exploited the Catholic hierarchy’s desperate need for priests and its clear willingness to tolerate wrongdoing in its clerical caste and gone to work in church jobs, in part, knowing or hoping their own crimes will be ignored or hidden.
This isn’t an unprecedented situation. Around 2003, for example, then-Cardinal Francis George of Chicago made virtually the same claim about another New Jersey priest, Fr. Kenneth Martin. Hundreds of times over decades, bishops have split hairs like this, desperately trying to justify their recklessness and deceit and hoping to keep yet another priest on the job.
We want to stress that the problem here isn't Archbishop John Myers. It's the whole Newark Catholic clergy, especially its hierarchy, and the Vatican.
Myers will be gone soon. Thousands of Catholics will breathe a sigh of relief. Then, they’ll become part of the problem, by naively assuming the next archbishop will “be better” at protecting kids than Myers has been. That’s a tempting but irresponsible assumption.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions – especially in New Jersey – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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 20,000 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)
Priest in child porn case had been vetted by Rome on prior sex abuse claim
by Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on December 05, 2016 at 8:30 AM, updated December 05, 2016 at 8:36 AM
Thirteen years ago, amid allegations he molested a 16-year-old boy, the Rev. Kevin Gugliotta was suspended from ministry in New Jersey, his case referred to the Vatican for guidance because of an unusual circumstance.
When the alleged sex assaults occurred in the mid-1980s, Gugliotta wasn't . . .