March 21, 2006

Archdiocese widens alerts on accused priests

The Star-Ledger

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff
The Newark Archdiocese has recently implemented a new policy to alert parishioners whenever a priest is permanently barred from the ministry because of a sex abuse allegation, a spokesman said.

The archdiocese was previously the state's only Roman Catholic diocese that did not routinely alert parishioners when their priest, or former priest, was prohibited from wearing a collar because of sex allegations.

Now the archdiocese has begun making it known at every church where those priests served -- generally through church bulletin notes -- that they were removed because of an accusation, said James Goodness, a spokesman for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.

Goodness would not say exactly when archdiocese officials changed the policy.

However, on Sunday, there was an announcement in church bulletins in five parishes where Monsignor Peter Cheplic worked from 1972 to 2005, saying that because of a recent archdiocesan review board decision to hold a church trial against him over sex-abuse allegations, Cheplic decided to permanently retire and no longer serve as a priest.

Posted by kshaw at March 21, 2006 07:47 AM