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Mark Mueller

Mark Mueller is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Mark Mueller

Priest admits sex with minor, says teen ‘wanted’ it

By Mark Mueller — August 19, 2015
NEWARK, N.J. – Asked if he realized he was committing a crime by having sex with a 15-year-old boy when he was 40, the priest said, "I just came fr (sic) my country and really in Ecuador a person at 15 years old is not consider (sic) so innocent."

N.J. to Archdiocese of Newark: Get out of the headstone business

By Mark Mueller — March 25, 2015
NEWARK, N.J. — In the 18 months since the archdiocese began marketing headstones, some headstone dealers saw business drop off by 40 percent.

When is a priest not a priest? When he’s molesting a child, diocese says in defense of lawsuit

By Mark Mueller — June 4, 2014
(RNS) A lawyer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton told justices that the Rev. Terence McAlinden was not "on duty" -- or serving in his capacity as a priest -- when he allegedly molested Chris Naples on trips to Delaware.

Newark Archdiocese wins court case on legality of its headstone business

By Mark Mueller — April 30, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Archdiocese of Newark became the first cemetery operator in New Jersey, religious or otherwise, to enter the lucrative headstone business in April of last year.

Newark Archdiocese yet to pay taxes in monument business

By Mark Mueller — March 31, 2014
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Archdiocese of Newark in recent years quietly entered the headstone and mausoleum business, a lucrative venture for which the archdiocese acknowledges it must pay a particular state tax. So far, it hasn’t paid a penny.

Vatican expels Newark priest Michael Fugee from priesthood

By Mark Mueller — March 18, 2014
(RNS) Michael Fugee, 53, who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors despite signing a court-sanctioned decree forbidding such activities, is no longer a priest.

Archbishop’s pricey retirement home spurs giving backlash

By Mark Mueller — March 3, 2014
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.

Newark archbishop’s retirement home includes $500K addition

By Mark Mueller — February 17, 2014
(RNS) The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits.

The priest who faced down the federal government — and won

By Mark Mueller — December 6, 2013
(RNS) The Rev. Ray Leonard, 51, bristled at the U.S. government when it told him he couldn’t hold services at a Georgia naval base during last month’s government shutdown. So he sued.

NJ Prosecutor slams archdiocese for failing to supervise child sex abuser Michael Fugee

By Mark Mueller — November 11, 2013
(RNS) "If something like this were to ever happen again, I have no intention of relying on the archdiocese to monitor these priests," said Prosecutor John L. Molinelli. "It was clear to us that future monitoring was just not going to happen."

Priests accused of abuse hiding in plain sight

By Mark Mueller — November 7, 2013
RUTHERFORD, N.J. (RNS) Monsignor Peter Cheplic is one of at least seven alleged sexual predators quietly placed in a Rutherford retirement home for priests in the past 15 years -- on the same block as a Catholic grade school. This is hardly an isolated case: Across the country, clerics who have been removed from ministry are being housed by dioceses in neighborhoods teeming with children, and residents rarely know about their presence.

Fed-up victim nabs his priest abuser in sexting sting

By Mark Mueller — October 2, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) A young Catholic priest thought he was swapping explicit text messages with a 16-year-old boy. Turns out it was a former friend who was fed up with years of sexual harassment.

Pope Francis names assisting bishop for troubled Newark, N.J., archdiocese

By Mark Mueller — September 24, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Embattled Archbishop John Myers rejected a claim that the appointment of a designated successor was a rebuke of his administration. "Absolutely not. It was my own request."

Embattled Archbishop John Myers lashes out at media, critics

By Mark Mueller — August 21, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Embattled Archbishop John J. Myers, under fire for his handling of abusive priests, lashed out at his critics, saying "God will surely address them in due time."

Embattled Newark archbishop demotes his top deputy

By Mark Mueller — May 28, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Monsignor John Doran is among the highest-ranking Roman Catholic officials in the country to be demoted over the handling of a priest accused of sexual abuse, observers say.
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