Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is fortunate to acquire the stellar assistance of Bishop Bernard A. Hebda. Three of Newark’s bishops, including Myers, are in their 70s, so picking up the 54-year-old Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan is a real plus.
As usual, there are a few carping voices. Much is still being made over the antics of Fr. Michael Fugee, the priest who resigned after violating a judicial order. In 2001, he was charged with groping a teenager while wrestling in front of family members. Myers was unfairly blamed for Fugee’s refusal to abide by strictures he agreed to respect. Now critics are contending that Hebda’s appointment is a reflection on Myers’ tenure.
Archbishop Myers requested assistance from Rome some time ago; it is hardly an unusual request for someone nearing retirement age. Yet according to Charles Reid, who teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, “[A]t the very least we can say this happened because of the sex-abuse scandal.” At the very least, we can say it is a disgrace for a law professor to make accusations without corroborating evidence. Also, it is striking to see Reid get worked up about this issue: in July, he lectured the “religious right” for their fixation on “loose sexual mores.”
David Clohessy, director of SNAP, criticized Pope Francis for going easy on Myers’ alleged cover-ups. He knows something about cover-ups: he refused to report his brother, Kevin, to the cops when he learned that his sibling was a molester.
Robert Hoatson says the acquisition of Hebda means Myers is “on the way out.” He is an expert on what it feels like to be “on the way out”: he is an ex-priest. Moreover, he commands no following. To wit: last month he held a demonstration against Myers. Three people showed up.
Congratulations to Archbishop Myers and to Co-Adjutor Archbishop Hebda.