Father Michael Fugee recently admitted to violating his agreement with the Newark Archdiocese and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office; thus, his decision to step down. His dishonesty is appalling. Moreover, he has clearly impugned his character.
In a May 1 report, Catholic League president Bill Donohue said, “What is really going on here is an attempt to sunder Archbishop Myers—Fugee is not the man they want. They want Myers, and that is because they detest what he stands for.”
Fugee’s resignation does nothing to change the Catholic League’s position. Indeed, had there not been calls for Myers to resign over this matter, there would have been no reason to comment on it.
There is a concerted effort on the part of left-wing Catholics and ex-Catholics, aided and abetted by some in the media, to take down a bishop. But not just any bishop: he must be a conservative. To this day, the way these activists have reacted to their hero, the disgraced former archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland, is in stark contrast to their response to conservative bishops who have been embroiled in controversy (e.g., Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Newark Archbishop John Myers).
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: any priest who is guilty of committing a crime, especially sexual abuse, should have the book thrown at him; he will get no defense from the Catholic League. But when we see that the clergy of other religions, as well as public school officials, are being held to a lesser standard than our bishops, that is cause for action. Not until we get a level playing field will we back off.