The Voluntary Resignation of Newark Catholic Official Changes Little
The voluntary resignation of one Newark Catholic official changes virtually nothing.
It’s Myers, not Doran, who put an admitted child molesting cleric in a hospital job, live in rectories, work in other dioceses, let him be around kids, hear their confessions and go to Canada with them.
It’s Myers, not Doran, who refused to say “Fr. Fugee admitted sexually abusing a child, so he’s gone, no matter what the prosecutor does or doesn’t do.”
It’s Myers, nor Doran, who won’t post the names of his predator priests on his website or force them to live in remote treatment centers. It’s Myers, not Doran, who won’t reveal the names of the people on his abuse panel.
We could go on and on and on.
Finally, voluntary resignations have little or no impact. Forced demotions would, however. But virtually no Catholic official seems to be both clean and courageous enough to impose such consequences on a colleague or underling. So no one really gets punished, and nothing really changes.
Whether you are a parent, a principal or a president, if you want to show you’re serious and you insist on reform, you fire or demote people. You don’t let them voluntarily leave one post but keep their titles and jobs. Myers keeps making grudging, belated public relations moves and calling them “reform.”
That won’t cut it.
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
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected]), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, [email protected])
Archdiocese of Newark Vicar General resigning in wake of Rev. Michael Fugee scandal
Monsignor John Doran, the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Newark, is seen in a 1997 file photo. Doran is being removed from his position in the wake of the Rev. Michael Fugee scandal. (File photo)
Print By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
on May 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM, updated May 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM
An Archdiocese of Newark official who was born and raised in Jersey City is resigning in the wake of the Rev. Michael Fugee scandal.
In a letter that will be read to all parishioners during this weekend's Masses, Archbishop John J. Myers said that Monsignor John E. Doran, previously a pastor at St. Cassian in Montclair, is stepping down as Vicar General, effective immediately.
Fugee was charged last week with violating a lifetime ban on ministry to children by working with a Monmouth County youth group. The Star-Ledger has reported that Fugee has gone on numerous retreats with children over the years since the agreement, an that the interactions were never hidden from the Archdiocese.
A jury convicted him in 2003 of aggravated criminal sexual contact, but three years later the verdict was overturned in appellate court. In that decision, the panel said that the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to hear the part of Fugee’s confession in which he questioned his sexual identity.
Fugee, 52, signed the agreement in July 2007 to avoid retrial on the groping charges. The archdiocese also signed onto the agreement, pledging to supervise the priest.
"Appointing a new Vicar General will be just one step in a comprehensive plan to review, and, where necessary, strengthen our internal protocols and ensure we are doing everything we can to safeguard the children of our community," Myers said in the letter. "So, effective immediately, the Vicar General, Monsignor John E. Doran, has resigned his post and will no longer hold a leadership position with the Archdiocese.
"As a result of operational failures, both Monsignor Doran and I felt that the Archdiocese would be best served by his stepping down as Vicar General."
In the wake of the Star-Ledger stories, many have called for Myers' resignation.
In the letter to parishioners, Myers said he contacted attorneys to conduct "a full and thorough" investigation. "The investigation found that the strong protocols we
presently have in place were not always observed," Myers says in the letter.
Myers says in the letter that the archdiocese has had an exemplary record in dealing with allegations of abuse by priests, and that changes will be made.
Among the changes, Myers says, is that the responsibility for monitoring cases such as Fugee's will be transferred to the Office of the Judicial Vicar. Myers says he will also add a special adviser to the archdiocesan review board and commit more resources
to the "independent group of expert, and mainly lay, volunteers who help the Archdiocese and me investigate allegations of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors and recommend any action under Church law."
Archdiocesan officials did not immediately return calls for comment and Doran could not be reached.