National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Conservative commentator: Bishops still don't understand sex abuse

 |  NCR Today

"Ten years into the greatest crisis the Church has faced since the Reformation, most American bishops still haven’t begun to grasp the problem" of clergy sex abuse.

Not the words of a clergy sex abuse victim or advocate, but those of Phil Lawler, the editor and director of the not exactly progressive Catholic World News.

Writing in a column Wednesday about the Newark, N.J., archdiocese's decision to employ a priest who confessed to groping a teenage boy, Lawler states that if Newark Archbishop John Myers' phone isn't "ringing off the hook" with complaints from fellow bishops, the American episcopate must not understand the scope of the sex abuse crisis.

"There is no third option," Lawler writes. "And as I look at those two possibilities, I shudder to think which is more likely. God help us."

Lawler refers to Myers' decision to appoint Fr. Michael Fugee as the archdiocese's co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests.

email-graphic.jpgThe latest news... right to your inbox. Sign up for NCR email alerts.

Fugee is barred from unsupervised contact with children under an agreement with local prosecutors because of a 2001 confession that he intentionally groped a 14-year-old boy while wrestling with him. 

Jim Goodness, archdiocesan spokesman, told Catholic News Service Feb. 5 that in the position Fugee primarily seeks out and forwards information on seminars, courses and books that might help clergy in their ministerial work. 

"It's important to note we're not looking at a high, prestigious position," Goodness told CNS.

[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer. His email is jmcelwee@ncronline.org.]

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.