COLTS NECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The pastor and two youth ministers at a central New Jersey church have left their posts amid criticism that a priest once accused of child molestation was allowed to work with young parish members.
The Star-Ledger of Newark says the Rev. Thomas Triggs announced his resignation from the pulpit during a service Saturday night at St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck. The newspaper also said youth ministers Michael and Amy Lenehan no longer held those positions, though it was not clear if they resigned or were forced out.
The shakeup comes just days after the resignation of the Rev. Michael Fugee, a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark. Fugee had been involved with the parish youth group in defiance of an agreement with prosecutors not to work with children.
Fugee, 52, entered into an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid retrial on the abuse conviction after the groping incident six years ago. The agreement required Fugee never again to have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18.
But Fugee later ended up attending overnight teen retreats and hearing teens’ confessions at St. Mary’s Parish.
Fugee was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual contact involving a boy. It was overturned by an appeals court and the priest eventually entered a pretrial intervention program.
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