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Bergen County Priest Defrocked By Consent Judgment After Violation of Probation - State v. Fugee


"In a sweeping agreement that legal experts said is unprecedented in its scope, the Bergen County prosecutor announced Friday that he has taken over the job of monitoring a former Wyckoff associate pastor who confessed to fondling a 13-year-old boy because he does not trust church officials to watch him.

"The prosecutor, John L. Molinelli, said law enforcement authorities “no longer have confidence” in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark to abide by a 2007 agreement that barred the Rev. Michael Fugee from working with children. He also pointed to recent statements by Archbishop John J. Myers, who said the church is not equipped to monitor priests and never should have signed the agreement.

"In exchange for prosecutors dropping a criminal charge of violating a court order, Fugee admitted to violating the agreement by going on youth retreats and hearing children’s confessions, according to a consent order filed on Nov. 1 in Superior Court in Hackensack.

"He also agreed to be defrocked, a process known as laicization that removes him from the supervision of church officials and permanently strips him of priestly authority. And he acknowledged that he was telling the truth when he confessed to fondling a 13-year-old parishioner of the Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary years ago. He previously alleged that his confession was coerced."

More, including the consent order, after the jump...