STATE — The Roman Catholic Church defrocked two priests who molested children, one of whom admitted to accosting an 8-year-old boy in Elizabeth, according to a report in the Archdiocese of Newark’s online magazine Catholic Advocate.
Horacio Daniel Medina and Richard J. Mieliwocki were each removed from the priesthood for sexual abuse of minors, according to church officials.
A Vatican tribunal decided to oust the former pedophile priests after a lengthy process called laicization, which was approved by the Pope.
Medina was arrested in 2004 on charges of having oral sex with an 8-year-old boy in the sacristy of Blessed Sacrament Church in Elizabeth in mid-1999.
According to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Medina pleaded guilty to fourth-degree child endangerment in 2006.
The archdiocese removed him from ministry after his arrest but Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national support group for priest sex abuse victims, said Newark Archbishop John J. Myers failed to inform lay people at parishes in Elizabeth and Jersey City where Medina had worked.
Medina was sentenced to probation but the archdiocese failed to alert parishioners when he pleaded guilty, in 2007 when its review board deemed the accusation credible, or in 2008 when it notified Catholic bishops nationwide that he was barred from ministry.
“If Archbishop Myers is warning 190 of his colleagues, he should be warning the public,” David Clohessy, national director of SNAP, who claimed the group only learned of Medina’s crimes in September 2008, when the archdiocese alerted other bishops that he was on administrative leave and could not be located.
The Archbishop came under sharp criticism this year for his handling of Michael Fugee, who confessed that he molested a 13-year-old boy but was never ousted from the priesthood and was assigned as chaplain to a hospital without informing officials there of his past.
Mieliwocki was accused of sexual misconduct involving minors in 1994 and he failed to complete a treatment program.
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