Oh what the hell …. After reading the posting below, feel free (like I did) to give Jimmy a call on his personal cell phone; I’m posting it here with his email to boot: Jim Goodness(973) 497-4186 (office); (973) 202-2317 (Cell) … email@example.com
First off, the reporting of Michael Fugee (I can’t bring myself to call him “Father”) done by Newark Star Ledger reporter Mark Mueller was nothing sort of stellar. Objective, factual and hardline. A tremendous job.
Youth Ministers, Michael and Amy Lenehan willfully and knowingly put children of the Diocese of Trenton in direct contact with a man (Michael Fugee) who was charged with criminal sexual contact in 2001 after he was accused of fondling the genitals of a 14-year-old boy. This man, is an admitted homosexual/ bisexual and child molester (and I am NOT saying that being gay means that you are a pedophile) who confessed to touching the boy, acknowledging to police that it sexually excited him. Archbishop John Meyers had full knowledge of him being in the Diocese of Trenton, lied and Goodness swears to the lie.
The easy thing for me to have done would have been to step in and take a sledge hammer to the situation surrounding Fugee, his boss, Archbishop John J. Meyers, Rev. Thomas Triggs, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck and his two lap-sap, youth ministers — Michael and Amy Lenehan — who had invited the Fugee to take part in youth retreats and other activities with teens knowing full well his legal and USCCB restrictions stemming from his assault on teen boys.
My more immediate concern was of course for the kids, but it also reached to my Diocese as well. Hold a gun to my head on day-one of this horror story and tell me that unless I concede that Bishop David M. O’Connell knew that Fugee was 1) AT St. Mary and/ or 2) knew that he went on retreat with his kids of his diocese, what’s left of my brains would be splatted, I’d say, “pull the trigger.” I am not an apologist for any member of any clergy member but I can say and did say to the Bishop that I, without reservation truly believe that he was not a party to any of this. I agree with Bishop O’Connell when he said In the past, that the Diocese handled the abuse crisis in a poor way and he needs to concentrate on the future and present to ensure of the safety of his children. I disagree that he has done everything possible to protect the kids because there are sealed names of former priests that are in our neighborhoods and near to kids. I have encouraged the Bishop to release those names and the names of all credibly named religious in his Diocese that have been accused of sexual crimes as 22 other United States Dioceses have. However there is absolutely no way David M. O’Connell had any inkling as to the law breaking, agreement violations that was unfolding in Colts Neck – none
So yes, I will defend O’Connell on this instance and layout what I know to be true.
- If one thinks for a moment that Bishop O’Connell met with Father Triggs for the first time on Saturday, May 4, is mistaken. Triggs has said to a mutual acquaintance that he was “dressed down and knew it was coming” in reference to his own resignation – he was fired
- By most accounts, Triggs is a good priest that got caught up in a very, very bad mess. He’s an opportunist and career climber. I’m convinced that he was taken in by Fugee, Meyers and the February 7, 2013 letter addressed to all priest in his Archdiocese that was used as support for Fugee. Now he’ll pay the price and be reassigned or re-directed to a desk job, hospital chapel or another diocese – he brought this on himself; he needed to be diligent and failed in that capacity. He also failed to protect his children of his parish. St Mary is a plum assignment at an affluent parish, to think for one moment that a homosexual child predator is ministering to children of a parish of this nature without the consent of the pastor knowing that his youth minister (Mrs. Amy Lenehan) was a prior spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark is absolutely unheard of, irresponsible and a bol-faced lie on the part of Triggs
- As far as personal friends for decades to Fugee, Michael and Amy Lenehan are concerned – “stepped down?” yeah… hmm, no. they were booted – bye-bye. You can call it a Triggs move if you want; I can tell you that it came from higher than the pastor and certainly prior to May 4
- Archbishop John J Meyers is a liar and harbors known sexual offenders
- The Archdiocese of Newark spokesperson, Jim Goodness is a disingenuous, arrogant person – he is incapable of being smart enough to lie so he just puts his foot further and further into his mouth and then insults those around him by being nothing short of a flak for Meyers
The last two bullets are strong statement so let me clarify and explain.
Bullet four – Archbishop John J Meyers is a liar and harbors known sexual offenders. Meyers is an embarrassment to the Church. To compound the arrogance and unbelievable nature of the Fugee punishment it was Meyers that assisted in composing the USCCB’s Dallas Charter that is the written word to the mandatory sentencing of Fugee of ever serving in any ministry to kids after his crotch-groping of teen boys. Additionally, this is not Meyers’ first step to the plate of harboring and protecting known sex offenders and it needs to be noted that in each case listed below, Meyers hand signature is on released documents supporting each claim of complaisantly and approval of each of the listed moves:
- In 2010 the Star-Ledger review of the archbishop’s record since 2002 shows Myers on at least four occasions has shielded priests accused of sexual abuse against minors and one adult. In the four instances, the priests have either admitted improper sexual contact, pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct or been permanently barred from ministry by the archdiocese after allegations of sexual misconduct. The archdiocese also wrote a letter of recommendation for one of the priests, a week after it learned he was accused of breaking into a woman’s home in Florida and possibly assaulting her
- In 2004, the Newark Archdiocese wrote letters to six dioceses in Florida on behalf of the Rev. Wladyslaw Gorak, one week after learning Gorak’s ministry had been terminated in the Orlando Diocese — after he was accused of breaking into a woman’s home
- Also in 2004, the archdiocese banned the Rev. Gerald Ruane from public ministry after investigating an allegation he molested a boy, but did not publicly notify lay people or other priests. Ruane continued to say Mass and wear his collar in public
- In 2007, the archdiocese failed to inform lay people that it found a molestation claim credible against the Rev. Daniel Medina, who had worked in parishes in Elizabeth and Jersey City. The case wasn’t made public until a victims group uncovered an alert sent by the archdiocese in September 2008 to other bishops saying Medina was on administrative leave and could not be located
Bullet 5- The Archdiocese of Newark spokesperson, Jim Goodness is a disingenuous, arrogant person – he is incapable of being smart enough to lie so he just puts his foot further and further into his mouth and then insults those around him by being nothing short of a flak for Meyers.
I’m going back only two weeks ago. I will line up the statements of the Newark Archdiocese, the Newark Archbishop and the statements of the Spokesperson Jim Goodness to the “letter of resignation” of Michael Fugee. You decide:
Goodness says: On April 28, Goodness denied any legal or Dallas Charter agreement had been breached, saying the archdiocese has interpreted the document to mean Fugee could work with minors as long as he is under the supervision of priests or lay ministers who have knowledge of his past and of the conditions in the agreement. “We believe that the archdiocese and Father Fugee have adhered to the stipulations in all of his activities, and will continue to do so,” Goodness said
The Lie being … In addition to Fugee and Prosecutor John Molinelli, the archdiocese’s vicar general signed the agreement on behalf of Myers, pledging to abide by the restrictions on Fugee’s ministry. The document — which can be found on NJ.com, the online home of The Star-Ledger — states explicitly that Fugee may not have unsupervised contact with children, minister to children or work in any position in which children are involved. “This includes, but is not limited to, presiding over a parish, involvement with a youth group, religious education/parochial school, CCD (or Sunday school), confessions of children, youth choir, youth retreats and day care,” the agreement says
Fugee’s Letter of Resignation says: “…The leadership of the Archdiocese of Newark, especially Archbishop John Myers, did not know or approve of my actions. My failure to request the required permissions to engage in those ministry activities is my fault, my fault alone…”
Goodness says : “He engaged in activities that the archdiocese was not aware of and that were not approved by us, and we would never have approved them because they are all in conflict with the memorandum of understanding,”
Rayanne Bennett, a spokeswoman for Trenton Bishop David M. O’Connell says: Fugee’s work with St. Mary’s took place without the diocese’s knowledge or permission. “Upon learning of this, the diocese has addressed this matter with the parish and reached out to the archdiocese,” Bennett said in a statement. “The Archdiocese has reported that Father Fugee is a priest in good standing and free to minister in another diocese.”
The Archdiocese of Newark website says today: “The Archdiocese only learned about two weeks ago when approached by a reporter that Fr. Fugee had engaged in other activities or ministries. The activities written about in recent news stories were not part of his assigned ministry. Had the Archdiocese known about them at the time, permission to undertake them would not have been granted.”
Goodness said on May 1 :… “The fact is, he has done nothing wrong.” He then went on to acknowledge that Even if Fugee heard private confessions from minors, those supervising Fugee were always nearby. – HUH? So there were eyes in the confessional?
The Archdiocese of Newark website says today: “Fr. Fugee remains a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, but he no longer has faculties to minister publicly as a priest. He cannot present himself as a priest, cannot wear clerical clothing, and cannot perform publicly the duties or activities of a priest.
What that means: Fugee will get a stipend from YOUR contributions to the collection basket, insurance from YOUR contributions to the collection basket and a place to live from YOUR contributions to the collection basket. PLUS he will be eligible for unemployment once (if) he is defrocked.
Where is the outrage?