The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting and Spending: The "Bishop of Bling"

Remember Newark Archbishop John Myers, who covered up for and defended a sexually abusive priest who violated his plea bargain, to which the Archdiocese was a party? Well, he's back, now as the "Bishop of Bling":
There's a growing public backlash, both in New Jersey and within the Catholic community, over the Newark Archdiocese's plans to build a $500,000 addition to the retirement home for Archbishop John J. Myers.

The 3,000-square-foot expansion to the home, replete with a host of luxurious amenities, is unseemly to many.

The Bergen Record ran a devastating editorial on Tuesday that called on the archdiocese to sell Myers' "princely palace."

"Let the profits from the sale fund something more important than Myers' desire to live like one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey," the editorial read.

A day later, New York Times columnist Michael Powell blasted the archdiocese for building the home's expansion two years after it closed one of its Catholic schools due to a lack of funding.
Actually, Powell did rather more than that; he pointed out that:
So many leaders of the church have served it so badly for so many decades that it’s hard to keep track of their maledictions. Archbishop Myers provides one-stop shopping. He is known to insist on being addressed as “Your Grace.” And his self-regard is matched by his refusal to apologize for more or less anything.

It was revealed last year that a priest seemed to have broken his legally binding agreement with Bergen County prosecutors to never again work unsupervised with children or to minister to them so long as he remained a priest. When next found, he was involved with a youth ministry in the Newark Archdiocese.

Parishioners in Oradell, N.J., also discovered that the archdiocese had allowed a priest accused of sexual abuse to live in their parish’s rectory. A furor arose, and last summer the archbishop sat down and wrote an open letter to his flock. He conceded not a stumble. Those who claim, he wrote, that he and the church had not protected children were “simply evil, wrong, immoral and seemingly focused on their own self-aggrandizement.”
As I pointed out at the time, Fugee patently violated the plea agreement, and the Archdiocese defended him.

Between Myers's palatial aspirations, and his shielding of malefactors, he seems to be taking his lead not from Pope Francis, but from a very different Francis, who sets out his views here:

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