Archbishop’s pricey retirement home spurs giving backlash

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The Archdiocese of Newark is paying more than a half million dollars for a 3,000-square-foot addition to Archbishop John J. Myers' summer and weekend residence in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County. The three-story addition will include an indoor pool, a hot tub, fireplaces and an elevator. Photo by Mark Mueller, courtesy of The Star-Ledger

The Archdiocese of Newark is paying more than a half million dollars for a 3,000-square-foot addition to Archbishop John J. Myers' summer and weekend residence in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County. The three-story addition will include an indoor pool, a hot tub, fireplaces and an elevator. Photo by Mark Mueller, courtesy of The Star-Ledger

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NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Parishioners, infuriated by Archbishop John J. Myers' addition to a lavish retirement home, say they’re cutting off contributions entirely or sharply curtailing them.

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  • gilhcan

    John J. Myers, archbishop or no, is as blatantly corrupt as any church manager throughout the often shady history of the Catholic Church up to the Reformation and in many, many continuing ways since. Myers showed that in his previous assignment. He showed it in the shabby way he handled the sex abuse and the clerical abusers in Newark. He now shows it by thumbing his nose at the people of the Newark Diocese in his flagrant abuse of their money for his own luxurious, materialistic living.

    Myers is as bad as any churchmen have ever been, bar none, not even the pedophiles had handled so lightly. Like so many other bishops, he used the money of the people to hire accountants and lawyers to hide that abuse of the people’s own kids.

    Pope Francis should openly, boldly fire the man. In addition to his brazen of contempt for Jesus and the precepts of the Gospels, Myers constantly and boldly shows utter contempt for the followers of Jesus. And he is their presumed leader?

    No bishop, no priest, and no employee of the Diocese of Newark can defend Myers or dare to use the lame excuse that not contributing to the bishop’s fund will only hurt the poor. The lay people who are the ones who pay all the bills, including the cost of Myers’ hoped-for, fancy digs in Hunterdon County, outside the area of the Newark Diocese, can and should use those purse strings to demand corrections to this brazen abuse. Francis can fire the guy, but the parishioners of the Newark Diocese can control his financial abuses.

    Why did the people ever even allow Myers to buy a “weekend retreat” with their funds? The lay people are expected to attend church each weekend, but their bishop hides away in luxury, swimming and elevating, outside their diocese!

    Retirement? Let every bishop retire to simplicity just as every priest should retire to simplicity if they are true followers of Jesus as they claim. Or, if Myers carves grandeur so disgustingly, Francis could always offer him the Apostolic Palace that he so genuinely forsake along with red, satin, Gucchi slippers.

    There is something evil about the church. That evil is the management separation of the clergy from the non-clergy. (“Lay people” has become a belittling, disgusting term.) The non-clergy pay all the bills. They should have a say in who their priest is to be. They, along with diocesan priests, should do the selection of their own bishops. It should not be done through other clergy, through the nuncio’s suggestions, and ultimately by a bunch of bishops forming the Congregation for Bishops in the corrupt Curia in the Vatican.

    But the “lay people” must demand all these changes. They must put an blunt end to the long and dark evolution of the “black magic” of the sacraments that the clergy use to hold the “lay people” under their control.

    As Martin Luther discovered in all his studies leading up to his reform, all but Baptism and Holy Communion evolved into the magic power status long after Jesus, and even the power control and black magic that was added, implied to Baptism and Holy Communion were not at all like that in the beginning.

    We need another council, one that will undo Nicaea that was called by the non-Christian Emperor Constantine in 325 so that he could work his corrupt politics and control the growing Jesus communities. Newark, NJ, certainly needs a council in which the “lay people” fire John Myers promptly–without any benefits. You can be sure he has hidden a gold mine out of the people’s resources out of which he plans to draw so he can continue to live in the luxury to which he has made the people of the diocese accustom him.

    The people of the Diocese of Newark and the people of the church worldwide need to revolt until there is a clear return to the Gospels and they have a full part in future management.

    No priest, no “lay person” should overlook Myers’ corruption or allow it to succeed. Archdiocesan spokesperson Jim Goodness should change his surname to Badness as long as he continues to defend the outrageous and bold corruption of Myers. Whom does Goodness think he’s kidding when he claims Myers’ flagrant abuse of diocesan funds isn’t coming out of the collection baskets and the pockets of the “lay people?” Where does he think the funds to purchase the fancy get-aways of former bishops Boland and McCarrick were obtained.

    Transferring those assets from one form or place to another for the gratification of Myers’ sumptuous indulgence in no way means the “lay people” of the diocese aren’t paying for everything–as they always have.

    This whole brazen matter is sinful, not just disgusting. And Francis should fire Myers promptly. Forget that Myers was already assigned a coadjutor because of his corruption in handling clerical sexual behavior. Fire Myers now and let the coadjutor have full and formal control. Send Myers to some monastery to live, a place where he can spend the rest of his days considering the evil ways in which he has disgraced Jesus, the Gospels, and the church. The Catholic Church certainly can bear no more disgrace. Its history is already overwhelmed with it.

    “Lay people” of the world, stand up and take back your church. Do whatever is necessary, even standing in the way of any further work on the super-mansion in which Myers feels he is entitled to spend his last years. By the way, who’s going to be living there with him if the “lay people” allow this to go forward. And if the “lay people” do not put a stop to it–and run Myers out of town–as with the sexual abuse of their children, they are the ones to blame. Sacraments are not black magic as most clergy are abusing them. Most of them are dying a slow death, anyway.

  • Earold Gunter

    What do people expect when a belief system requires they humbly submit themselves and are referred to as “sheep”?
    Lord Acton once said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
    Put yourself in a subservient position to anyone, man, or the gods they have created, and more times than not, they will use this to control, and take advantage of you.

    Religion is poison!

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  • Anton

    This story is mildly interesting and speaks to an important topic. Another I would like to see would provide the total dollar amount the Catholic Church has spent defending itself and paying settlements in sexual abuse cases. I mean, a couple of hundred million here and a couple of hundred million there and pretty soon you’re talking REAL money. I cannot believe anybody gives them a penny for anything.

  • Larry

    Newark-We are so corrupt even the clergy has their hand in the till.