By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on April 29, 2013
An influential Wisconsin priest who advocates for victims of sexual abuse has called on the Vatican to investigate whether Newark Archbishop John J. Myers violated canon law in his handling of a clergyman who continues to work with minors despite a lifetime ban.
The Rev. James Connell, the former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, aired his concerns in a letter he emailed this morning to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that has dealt with allegations of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.
Connell, a canon lawyer, wrote the letter after reading a Sunday Star-Ledger story about the Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from working with minors under a 2007 agreement with law enforcement.
The newspaper found that Fugee, with the approval of Myers, continued to engage children through an unofficial association with a Monmouth County church, St. Mary Parish in Colts Neck. Fugee, who is friends with the church’s youth ministers, has attended retreats with the youth group, traveled with teens to Canada and heard the confessions of minors behind closed doors.
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