Faithful of Newark Archdiocese Should Demand Removal of John J. Myers As Archbishop and Commencement of Defrocking Procedures against Msgr John J. Laferrera
By Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.d.
Voice from the Desert
June 6, 2012
One week ago, six courageous survivors of sexual abuse by Monsignor John J. Laferrera, disgraced pastor of St. Philomena's Roman Catholic Church in Livingston, New Jersey, sat in a law firm's conference room in Morristown to engage in mediation of their charges of hideous sexual abuse against them. Today, the Catholic Advocate, newspaper of the Newark Archdiocese, announced that Laferrera has been granted retirement by Archbishop John J. Myers. Myers brings new meaning to "you can't make this stuff up."
Myers' actions continue a pattern of allowing pedophile priests to retire instead of recommending that they be defrocked by the Vatican. For example, Monsignor Peter Cheplic was credibly accused a few years ago of abusing several men, including Joe Capozzi, the author and producer of "For Pete's Sake," a riveting play about Cheplic's abuse of Capozzi which began when Cheplic was a priest at St. Matthew's Parish in Ridgefield. He was allowed to retire with full pension and benefits and no accountability.
At least twelve men have made it known that Laferrera sexually abused them at Immaculate Conception Parish in Newark, Laferrera's first priestly assignment. In addition, a parishioner of St. Aloysius Parish in Caldwell has indicated that Laferrera, who was the pastor there, was seen as late as last year riding with young boys in a convertible car through the streets of Caldwell. Another St. Aloysius parishioner reported that as early as the 1990s, letters about Laferrera's abuse of children were made known to authorities.
Eight men filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark and Monsignor John Laferrera in 2011. Six of those men have been found credible by the Archdiocese of Newark. Two more await the mediation process. For Archbishop Myers to allow a credibly accused pedophile to retire with full pension and benefits while his victims struggle to regain their lives is unconscionable. It is typical, however, of Myers' callousness and insensitivity toward victims.
The faithful of the Newark Archdiocese should demand the removal of John J. Myers as Archbishop and the commencement of defrocking procedures against Monsignor John J. Laferrera. Only a complete cleansing of pedophile priests like John Laferrera and enablers of such behavior such as Archbishop John J. Myers will help restore what little credibility the Church has presently.
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.
Co-founder and President
Road to Recovery, Inc.