NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The second highest official in the Archdiocese of Newark has resigned from his post, in the wake of a scandal involving a priest who had contact with minors allegedly in violation of an agreement with prosecutors.
Monsignor John Doran resigned as vicar general — a move that takes effect immediately — and he will no longer hold a leadership position with the Archdiocese.
Doran could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Newark Archbishop John Myers wrote in an op-ed piece for the Star Ledger that an outside law firm found the strong protocols presently in place were not always observed, and thus, Doran – the man tasked with monitoring the Rev. Michael Fugee – had to resign.
Myers went on to defend the tactics in place to prevent and spot abuse, but conceded, “We are not perfect.”
Fugee was arrested earlier this week at St. Antoninus Parish in Newark following an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
He 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.
Fugee entered into an agreement with the prosecutor’s office to avoid retrial on the abuse conviction after a 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.
He allegedly had contact with minors on seven different occasions between April 2010 and December 2012, at the Claremont Retreat Center in Mt. Arlington, N.J.; the Kateri Environmental Center in Wickatunk, N.J.; the Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J.; Our Lady of Visitation Parish in Paramus, N.J., and a parishioner’s own home.
Following the revelations that he’d had contact with minors, Fugee, himself, resigned from his post. Two youth minsters at St. Mary’s also announced their resignation.
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