Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Newark Archdiocese to Get 2nd Archbishop

A second archbishop is to be named in the Roman Catholic Church’s archdiocese in Newark, where the archbishop is nearing retirement age and has been under fire for his handling of the case of a priest barred from unsupervised contact with minors, a Catholic publication reported Monday.

Silhouette of a cross on the roof of a church
Medioimages/Photodisc, Getty Images

Pope Francis is appointing a coadjutor archbishop to assist Archbishop John Myers, the National Catholic Reporter said. A coadjutor bishop is expected to succeed a bishop who retires or dies.

The bishop of Gaylord, Mich., Bernard Hebda, will be named to the post Tuesday, said the Reporter, citing unidentified sources.

The archdiocese, which serves nearly 1.5 million parishoners in northern New Jersey, declined to comment but said it would be making “an announcement of significance” on Tuesday.

Myers is 72, about three years from mandatory retirement. He has been archbishop since 2001.

He has been under fire for his handling of the case of the Rev. Michael Fugee, who stepped down in May.

Fugee confessed to grabbing a boy’s crotch but returned to the ministry under a 2003 agreement between prosecutors and the archdiocese that stipulated he be kept from unsupervised contact with minors. Instead, authorities say, he became a fixture at a youth group and attended overnight retreats. He later resigned and was arrested on charges of contempt of a judicial order.

In his resignation letter, Fugee said the archdiocese did not know about his youth ministry work.

“My failure to request the required permissions to engage in those ministry activities is my fault, my fault alone,” he wrote.

Last month, Myers issued a scathing rebuke to criticism of his handling of an allegation of sex abuse in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., which he led from 1990 to 2001.

The Pittsburgh-born Hebda, 54, has a law degree from Columbia University and worked at a law firm for a year before entering the seminary.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1989 in Pittsburgh and served in various posts in western Pennsylvania before being appointed in 1996 to the body responsible for the interpretation of the church’s laws. He was named bishop of the Gaylord Diocese in 2009.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Best of NJ 101.5

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.