The sexual abuse scandal in New Jersey gets worse.
The pastor and two youth ministers at a Catholic church where a visiting priest violated a lifetime ban on ministry to children have stepped down from their posts, the latest fallout in an escalating scandal enveloping Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
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The shake-up at St. Mary’s comes a week after The Star-Ledger disclosed that Fugee, a priest of the neighboring Archdiocese of Newark, had been involved with the St. Mary’s youth group in defiance of an agreement that bars him from ministering to children or holding any position in which children are involved. Fugee, 52, agreed to the terms in 2007 to avoid retrial on charges that he fondled the genitals of a 13-year-old boy. The Newark Archdiocese also signed on to the agreement, pledging to supervise Fugee and to keep him away from children.
But the supervision was, at best, lax, allowing the priest to interact with minors not only at St. Mary’s but at Holy Family Catholic Church in Nutley, N.J., where Fugee is friends with the pastor.