Newark Archdiocese Removes Two from Priesthood
By Jeff Green
September 2, 2013
Two priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark who were accused of molesting children have been stripped of their collars, according to church officials.
In August, the archdiocese announced in its online newspaper that Horacio Daniel Medina and Richard J. Mieliwocki were no longer priests. A Vatican tribunal arrived at the conclusions this summer after going through a lengthy process called laicization, said Jim Goodness, an archdiocese spokesman.
Medina was accused in 2004 of having oral sex with an 8-year-old boy in the sacristy of Blessed Sacrament Church in Elizabeth. The archdiocese removed him from ministry after his arrest. He pleaded guilty to child endangerment in 2006 and was sentenced to probation.
In 2008, victims’ advocacy groups found a memo that the archdiocese sent to bishops around the country alerting them of Medina’s status and that he could not be found.
The archdiocese did not tell parishioners about Medina’s conviction or the alert.
An archdiocese review board found “sufficient information” to support allegations that Mieliwocki sexually abused children at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange in 1994. He was removed from public ministry but retained his status as a priest.
Five years later, when Mieliwocki was a social worker at Clifton Mental Health Service, the state board of medical examiners placed him on probation for three years for professional misconduct, which included providing sex-therapy counseling without proper certification, state records show.
The Diocese of Metuchen said it was unaware of his probation when it employed Mieliwocki at a group home for troubled youth. The diocese fired him but he later was hired at a drug-treatment center in Mendham, where in 2005 he was accused of molesting four teenage boys. Mieliwocki pleaded guilty to child abuse and was sentenced to five years’ probation in 2007.
The state permanently revoked Mieliwocki’s social work license in 2011.
Goodness said the archdiocese notified the parishes where Medina and Mieliwocki worked that they had been removed from the priesthood.