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Newark Archdiocese Says Pedophile Priests Can Be Buried in Vestments [POLL]

Spencer Platt Collection: Getty Images News
Spencer Platt Collection: Getty Images News

Yesterday it was announced that Fr. Michael Fugee, who, at one time, had been elevated by Newark Archbishop John Myers to the position of co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests – despite having been tried in a child molestation case – had finally been removed as a priest.

It took long enough for that to happen – this after he flouted an agreement he’d made with prosecutors not to have any contact with children.

Now comes word that the Newark Archdiocese will now allow priests who’d been removed from churches following credible sexual abuse charges may be buried in their priestly vestments.

It may seem a small thing.

After all, they’re dead and their corpses are rotting in a box. What should it matter what they’re wearing?

However, it’s all in the symbolism.

They’re still being buried as priests, and that has some of us questioning the wisdom of the Archbishop who made that decision.

But then again, his decision-making has been thought to be questionable before.

According to this story on nj.com:

Clergymen removed from churches in the Newark Archdiocese following credible sexual abuse charges can be buried in their ceremonial robes, according to a report on NorthJersey.com.

The policy, approved by Archbishop John J. Myers and the Presbyteral Council in November, also mandates that obituaries not include the time, date or location of the funeral. The funeral also isn’t allowed to take place in a church where the priest worked or lived, the report said.

The archdiocese’s goal is to keep the funerals out of the spotlight and avoid giving “more pain back to the community than they’ve already been through,” spokesman Jim Goodness told the website. A letter to priests at the Newark Archdiocese’s 961 churches also indicated the policy was implemented to protect the priests’ families and avoid negative media coverage, according to the report.

Victims rights groups assert that credibly accused religious figures should not have the status of a priest when they’re laid to rest. One group, Road to Recovery Inc, is upset that priests removed from their posts can be buried in Mass vestments and that other priests are encouraged to attend, the report said.

The Archdiocese of Paterson told NorthJersey.com it doesn’t have a policy about funerals for pedophile priests.

Like I mentioned above, should it matter what they’re buried in?

Since we’re still according them the title of “priest” – even after having committed grievous acts against children – do you feel it’s right for them to still be buried as priests?

And what of the decision to allow that?

But as stated above, the decision-maker’s judgement has been called into question previously.

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