The Rev. Michael Fugee is a self-confessed pedophile.

The Rev. Michael Fugee works with youth groups, attends youth retreats, and hears the confessions of minors.
The Rev. Michael Fugee is a self-confessed pedophile.
It has recently been revealed that Fugee has openly worked with children for the past several years through an unofficial association with a Monmouth County church — St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck, N.J. He did so with the approval of New Jersey’s highest-ranking Catholic official, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
In 2001, Fugee confessed to twice fondling the genitals of a 14-year-old boy during wrestling matches. At the time, the priest served as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff.
Two years later, he was convicted by a jury and sentenced to five years’ probation. In 2006, an appellate panel vacated the verdict, ruling that a portion of the confession — in which Fugee described himself as bisexual or homosexual — should have been withheld from jurors because they might have drawn “an unfounded association between homosexuality and pedophilia.” The rest of the confession stood.
To avoid a retrial, Fugee entered a rehabilitation program, underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed a binding agreement that would dictate the remainder of his life as a Roman Catholic priest. The agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office stipulated that would have no affiliation with youth groups, would not attend youth retreats, and was barred from hearing the confessions of minors.
In recent years, Fugee has repeatedly violated that agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office – with the blessing of Archbishop Myers.
It is a pattern that has become all too familiar in the Catholic Church. When a sexual predator is identified within the church, the reaction is to deny or dismiss the charges and quietly transfer the guilty priest. Little, if any, consideration is ever given to the victims. Quite often the pedophile priests are given new assignments and parishioners there are never informed of the priest’s past.
The archdiocese of New Jersey continued to assign Fugee without disclosing his history. He held positions as Chaplain of St. Michael’s Medical Center, as co-director of the Office of Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests, and lived at Church of the Sacred Heart in Rochelle Park parish. In each instance he was removed only after his past had been revealed to parishioners in the press.
At St. Mary’s, where Fugee has had an unofficial association for several years, he was originally invited to participate by the church’s youth ministers, who were longtime friends. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Thomas Triggs, was aware of Fugee’s past but chose not share that information with other parishioners.
Since his involvement with St. Mary’s was revealed by the press there has been a public outcry. Parishioners of the church are outraged they were never informed of Fugee’s past and victims groups are flabbergasted he was allowed to keep working with children.
The response from the church has been, sadly, predictable. In a feat of verbal gymnastics, Archbishop Myers defended his decision to allow Fugee to continue working in the archdiocese without informing parishioners of his past. In a letter to other priests in the parish this past February, Myers wrote that in his interpretation of the case, “no sexual abuse had occurred,” and that had guided him to allow Fugee to return to the ministry.
In spite of Fugee’s confession to having groped a teenager, in spite of Fugee’s agreement with the Bergen County prosecutors office to never to work with children again, Archbishop Myers chose to allow this pedophile priest to keep working.
What should be noted is that Archbishop Myers helped draft the 2002 Dallas Charter, which required disclosure of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
What also should be noted is that in his February letter, Archbishop Myers never mentioned the two teenage boys whom Rev. Michael Fugee admitted having molested.