Contact Us
Make My Homepage

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

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

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 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.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.