Yesterday, we released a report, the “Star-Ledger’s War on Archbishop Myers,” that garnered a strong response, overwhelmingly positive. However, there are a few questions that some critics have raised that deserve an answer.
I wrote the report in response to a contrived story emanating from a foe of the Catholic Church. The newspaper not only provided no evidence that Father Fugee broke his agreement with the local prosecutor not to be around minors in an unsupervised capacity, it offered no proof that in the 12 years since Fugee’s case surfaced, he has acted improperly. In short, nothing broke—there is no story here. Yet the Star-Ledger, which is not exactly Catholic-friendly, wants Archbishop Myers to resign.
Some are saying that Fugee’s legal status is conditioned on a technicality that allowed him to return to ministry. Let me make this clear: If accused Muslim terrorists, who seek to kill as many innocent Americans as they can, are given (free of charge) attorneys prepared to exploit every legal loophole there is, then I want priests to be afforded the same measures.
In his February 7, 2013 letter to Newark priests, Archbishop Myers said the following: “At the end of the entire process, Father Fugee’s acquittal and dismissal of charges, and the Review Board’s conclusion that no sexual abuse occurred, guided me in my decision to allow him to return to ministry. It is also important to note that, in reaching my decision, the recommendations of the County Prosecutor regarding Father Fugee’s ability to return to ministry and future assignments in ministry carried great weight. We have followed those recommendations fully.”
Anyone is free to criticize Archbishop Myers, but in this case his most vociferous critics are not fair-minded observers—they are highly politicized forces seeking to execute their own sick agenda. It’s time they hit a brick wall of opposition.