NEWARK (CBSNewYork) — An advocacy group for church sex-abuse victims is calling for John Myers to be removed as Newark’s archbishop after his former diocese settled a case that happened on his watch, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.
The Catholic Diocese of Peoria in Illinois has agreed to pay $1.35 million to Andrew Ward, a former altar boy who says he was molested in the mid-1990s, when he was 8 years old, by Monsignor Thomas Maloney, who died in 2009. Ward also accused Myers of failing to take appropriate action to prevent the alleged abuse.
A year earlier, a woman told the diocese that Maloney sexually abused her as a child, but he was allowed to remain in the ministry, and Myers did not notify police of the allegation, the lawsuit said.
The settlement comes three months after the Rev. Michael Fugee, who admitted to groping a boy more than a decade ago, was charged for violating an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that barred him from working with children. The Newark Star-Ledger reported that Fugee attended a youth retreat in Monmouth and listened to confessions there.
Myers “favors priests over victims, and that has to end,” said Robert Hoatson, a former priest and the founder of the nonprofit group Road to Recovery.
Hoatson and attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented Ward in the Peoria case, will hold a news conference Tuesday outside Myers’ office in Newark calling for Myers to step down or be fired. Anderson will release a transcript of Myers’ deposition, which has been under court seal since 2010.
“We’ve had a dozen years now of denials, obfuscations, cover-ups, etc. by Archbishop Myers, and it’s time for him to be removed,” Hoatson said.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said in a statement that Myers has a track record for removing priests and added that the earlier report of sexual abuse in Peoria “was investigated and could not be substantiated.”
“The Archbishop has removed priests, has extended outreach to victims, and has reported all incidents that have come to our attention here in Newark,” the statement said. “If you check with Peoria, you also will find that the Archbishop did remove priests there when he was bishop, and also offered counseling.”
Hoatson, however, argued that Myers has no credibility.
“The fact that John Myers declares that somebody’s allegations are not credible or unsubstantiated, they mean nothing,” he said.
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