New Priest Violation Proves Present-Day Abuse Problems

Click here to read: “Priest at center of Newark Archdiocese scandal quits ministry,” by Mark Mueller, The Star-Ledger, updated May 3, 2013

Excerpt: “Father Fugee should have been fired and removed from ministry by Archbishop Myers years ago, not simply allowed to resign today,” said Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national advocacy and support group. “There must be consequences for those that enabled his continued access to children.

“If the Archbishop went to such great lengths to protect Father Fugee, then it’s likely he may be protecting others,” Crawford said. “He has failed to be transparent, open and honest, and for that Archbishop Myers must step down.”

18 thoughts on “New Priest Violation Proves Present-Day Abuse Problems

  1. It just reminds me of a few weeks after the 2011 GJ report that brought to light that there were still priests in ministry in the Philadelphia AD with credible allegations. I chaperoned a dance at a neighboring parish and all of my background clearances had to be in check in order to sit at a table and collect permission forms from the kids. A few weeks later a priest who was residing in the rectory ,a few hundred feet from where the dance took place, was one of the 26 “removed” priests. So all these policies in place that the parents have to fulfill to volunteer and possibly abusive priests were still residing at parishes where kids attended school, Prep classes, sports ,dances and all other types of recreational activities. A double standard if there ever was one.
    It is truly unbelievable that Fr Fugee was involved in anything to do with children after agreeing to the restrictions, but even more so those who knew and allowed it. What is even more amazing that some people focus on technicalities in these situations. Was he really alone with the kids or were others there etc..Did he technically violate the agreement? Why take the chance? Why have a possibility even exist? Why does the primal instinct to protect children always seem absent in these situations?

    1. Kathy: you are so right. My sister is in charge of one of the CCD programs in a Church in the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese is almost fanatical, from what she tells me,that every person that has any contact at all with kids be trained to recognize child abuse. If the right classes are not taken, the right forms not turned in a person becomes unable to teach kids. In one way this is good policy. In another, not so good. The people who have been accused of the majority of the abuse,get a free pass. Your comments about the High school dances brought something to mind. While in High School at Bishop McDevitt, I often attended dances at St. John of the Cross,even though we had moved and I was attending another Church then. The priest who molested me, was always there. He would go around telling the boys and girls not to dance too close.With all those raging hormones at fourteen and fifteen, He was trying to protect us from ourselves. Too bad nobody was there to protect us from him.

  2. Fugee quits ministry!

    It’s another miracle I’m attributing to JPII. That should be enough for Sainthood by this fall.

  3. Heads up lowly parish priests. If you have an illegal or immoral arrangement going on between yourself and your bishop, when the world catches wind of it, you’ll be the fall guy. You’ll be squeezed to quit in order to take the heat off your accomplice. You’ll be the one paying for your crimes and sins and his; you’ll be the one loyally, obediently, and shamefully existing ministry with your tail between your legs while your bishop drops you like a lead balloon. There’s nothing worse than when a spiritual daddy gives the big heave ho.

    Those episcopal coups…


  4. Myers…got promoted despite his shenanigans in the Midwest. So they sent him to Newark.

    Geographical cures do not work for sexual abusing priests or image saving bishops.

    I don’t have anything kind to say…I’ll just pray for his soul and the countless victims and families he has knowingly left in his wake of irresponsible leadership.

  5. The resignation is just “damage control” , a church/hirearchy that enables and protects abusers is a church/hierarchy that is doomed !

  6. I was just reading a column by Archbishop Chaput about Gosnell. Read the very last sentence. I reread it a few times. It was very true and can be applied to many issues……you have to know about an evil to do something about it………..

    1. But isn’t that what is so devastating about this situation – Myers knew about the evil of Fugee and so did the youth ministers and they did nothing to protect children. Children remain expendable. This story has just sickened me yet again regarding the callous disregard the bishops have for their own Charter. It proves once more to be meaningless. I’d love to know what goes on in their minds – “Oh but it was just a couple of gropes, no one got hurt, he probably enjoyed it! ” They can’t possibly understand the levels of damage that this abuse causes. Can they? I wrote once that one touch is enough to destroy a child’s life – just one sexual touch by a priest and your sense of Self, of God, of Faith, of the goodness of the universe, of personal value, of meaning, of hope is all brought into question. One touch. How can victims convey that to the bishops so that they get it? Suing them – we’re just after money. Committing suicide – we were just obviously unbalanced already so you can’t believe anything a suicide had previously claimed. How can people like Myers and those who promote him be anything other than abusers themselves, because only abusers could possibly be so callous, deceitful, and cavalier about damaging children. Or perhaps they have other sexual secrets that make touching a child a minor or meaningless issue to them. I’m just struggling with this story – I can’t believe the behavior of these evil bishops keeps coming to light and nothing is done.

      1. Mona I agree. We the laity and community have a right to know so we can protect our kids…………

  7. Mona: you are so right about everything in your post. I was molested one time by my local parish priest. That one time has caused such irreparable harm throughout my entire life. It caused deep psychological damage that I struggle with to this day. The abuse happened fifty two years ago this June. For the longest time, I could not connect the dots between the abuse and my serious life problems. Problems with depression, suicidal thoughts,problems in every human relationship because I couldn’t trust anyone,problems with anger, problems with addiction. I often wonder how many adults are out there with many of the same problems, unable or unwilling to connect the dots to sexual abuse suffered in childhood.I know there are some priests out there who do understand the harm caused by fellow priests. But it seems once they climb the ecclesiastical ladder, their ability or willingness to understand the suffering of others dissipates. Many are unwilling to rock the boat, knowing that the next step upward on that ladder depends on their willingness to just go along.

    1. Jim, if I could do something magical and make myself and other victims somehow get the freedom from all this shit and go about our lives like everybody else in the world gets to, you would be in my group of friends who would benefit in that magic first.

      When you become involved in a mass civil suit against an organization such as the Catholic Church in which dozens or hundreds of victims are part of the lawsuit and both the defendants and plaintiffs agree to a settlement, something I’ve always considered very strange happens. The judge in the initial case hires another judge to evaluate each individual case and award that person with the settlement amount that seems most deserving. After the Wilmington Diocese settled with 151 victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, a case in which I was part of, the media and public seemed to assume that the settlement would be equally divided among every victim. Instead, a point system was put into place to determine the severity of individual abuse and the scale was from 2 to 24. The lower the evaluation judge determined the severity of your abuse, the lower you were scaled in the point system. (I was a 2, mainly because I had not been abused in Delaware and was only able to file down there on a minor technicality.) Those who were abused “worse” than others received higher settlements. In fact, a dozen of the victims in the settlement received a substantially higher settlement than the rest.

      I still have a difficult time understanding this process. I also wonder how it is that someone who had never been abused himself as a child, nor had any expertise on the subject, nor had worked with abuse victims in the past could be awarded a position in which he now has the single most important opinion in the case of 151 men and women who were molested and raped by clergy within the diocese. It just doesn’t make sense. I am hardly a person consumed within the aspect of money and I couldn’t care any less about the award I received. My vengeance stretches far above and beyond gold. However, who has the right to determine whose abuse was worse? It isn’t even a valid argument. If you were to ask any victim, or at least those victims who can remember the first time they were sexually abused, I believe I could speak for every one of them that their reply would be the same, that “when we were sexually abused for the ‘first time’ everything changed.” Regardless of whether that first time was also the last time or was proceeded by a thousand other times, it was the “first time” that dictated the rest of our lives. I can remember my first time, although surrounded by a lot of confusion and not being able to remember exactly how old I was at the time, maybe 6, or 7, or before 6 I don’t know, I do know that whomever I was the moment before the actual physical sexual contact is gone. That kid died that day.

      I have known other victims who were molested above their clothing. I know victims who were spoken to sexually, or presented with pornography, or forced to watch their father or a priest masturbate in front of them. I know victims who were touched once, and sometimes not even in, what most people would determine a sexual way. Yet, some of those people are more screwed up than me and many of the other victims I know. Abuse is so relative to the individual victim. The level of severity of a victim’s abuse can’t be weighed upon how many times it happened, or if they were only touched instead of raped. It is how that victim responds to the assault that determines just how severe the abuse was, and nobody has the right to measure personal suffering.

      My abuse went on for YEARS. EVERY DAY FOR YEARS. It became a part of who I was, and it even became normalized in my life. I argued with people just over four years ago, who were trying to help me when I first came forward about the abuse, and they told me it wasn’t my fault, and it is not normal for children to be sexualized by adults. I just told them they didn’t understand. The abuse had controlled and dictated my entire life as I knew it. It had been something I considered as normal and as necessary as breathing and eating. I even loved my abusers, and I thought other victims were being condescending when they told me I didn’t know what love was, or my definition of loved was skewed because of the abuse. Even through all of this I don’t consider my abuse to be any more severe than any other victims, and certainly my life no more or less problematic than the next victim either.

      My blood boils when I hear people claim, “Oh, he was only molested once. She was raped just one time. He only had to watch the guy masturbate or was shown pornography when he was a child, but he wasn’t touched, so it’s no big deal.” Bullshit!!! When a trusted adult invades a child’s personal space, corrupts a child’s innocence, confuses his/her mind, breaks down their defenses to control, manipulate, or abuse it’s a very big problem and could be forgotten by one child and completely devastating to another child. Furthermore, not only are we aware of the danger we are in as children during the abuse, but we become very aware of the frightening nature of our abusers, and if you’re like me and you were trapped with these kinds of men for long periods of time, paralyzed by tremendous fear, without help or any way to get out of the situation, it changes the way you interact with your abuser and how you feel about him and what he’s doing to you. You adapt and search for a way to survive. For instance, I know that when I struggled or tried to fight back it ALWAYS ended bad for me. So I gave in, let myself go, drifted off into a day at the ballpark, and I hoped he would finish with me fast so the pain would go away and I could go back to sleep. I even forced myself between him and his son, my best friend, and my loyalty and love for my best friend drove me to beg him to do “it” to me and to let my friend go. I was a year older than my best friend and I always wanted to protect him. I think I did the best I could even though it wasn’t much at all.

      Being abused “only one time” is enough and too much! It inflicts the same damage to the child who was abused once as it does to the child who is abused a thousand times.

      “The people, who are trying to make this world worse… are not taking a day off.
      How can I?” – Bob Marley

      1. Rich Such Kindness Admist Such Brutality You Showed Your Friend. I See That As Christ Working Thru you.

  8. He (fugee) only resigned because he got caught, nothing new same conduct of enabling and protecting abusers, Change the law if you want compliance !

  9. “Being honest and transparent” never has been one of the church’s attrubutes.
    Remember Peter Connor [bishop] in past comments?
    His response the other day to one of the questions asked before the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry, the Catholic Insurance comany [he was on the board at one time mind you], dealing with abuse payouts stipulated “never to admit to anything”.
    Can you believe it?
    I’m sure the Lord would have something to say about that!
    I suppose he’s looking for a medal of honour now, for being so honest!
    He’s nothing but a weavel.

  10. This video by Matt Maher about Good Friday reminded me of what I was taught in school that we are to love God and love our neighbor as ourself and as Mother Teresa said whatever we do to our neighbor we are doing to Christ and that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit …… when a priest violates a child he is also violating Christ and the Holy Spirit that lives in that child because we are all sacred because we carry the life of Christ in us and are unique……..there is no one just like us and he has a special purpose for us being here and that he can take an evil that has been done to us and bring some good out of it such as helping others and making this a better safer place to live………..

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