Tuesday, August 20, 2013
NEWARK — In a sharply worded offensive, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers lashed out at the media and his critics in a letter released over the weekend, saying he has been the target of "deceitful and misleading" information about his oversight of sexually abusive priests.
Myers, who has limited his public comments in the face of recent scandals, took broad aim in the letter, addressed to priests of the archdiocese and distributed to parishioners at weekend services in Essex, Union, Bergen and Hudson counties.
In addition to the media, he questioned the motivations of politicians and former or retired clergy members who have spoken out against him, terming them "traveling bandwagons" and suggesting they have a prejudiced and spiteful view of the Roman Catholic faith. He suggested, too, they would be judged by God.
"For any who set out to claim that I or the Church have had no effective part in the love and protection of children, is simply evil, wrong, immoral, and seemingly focused on their own self-aggrandizement," Myers wrote. "God only knows their personal reasons and agenda. We are still called to love them. And God will surely address them in due time."
Myers wrote the letter in response to newspaper and television reports last week about a $1.35 million legal settlement reached between the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., and the family of a man who contends an Illinois priest abused him as a child in 1995 and 1996.
Myers served as bishop of Peoria from 1990 to 2001.
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