Father John Bambrick Believes Scandal with Archbishop Myers Impacted Decision to Bring in Coadjutor


After the announcement that Archbishop Bernard Hebda will serve as the new coadjutor, or an assistant bishop, for the Archdiocese of Newark, some are saying a major reason for the shared leadership is the recent controversy Newark Archbishop John Myers found himself in with regard to failing properly supervise Father Michael Fugee who violated a court order and repeatedly ministered to children. Father John Bambrick of the Diocese of Trenton told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he believes the scandal had an impact on officials in Rome.

Bambrick called the announcement “a day of great jubilation for the church in New Jersey, particularly for the Archdiocese of Newark.”

He explained that as coadjutor, Hebda will have the right to succeed Myers should he resign, die or retire. “He really is the new archbishop. There’s technicalities Archbishop Myers remains, but really it’ll be Archbishop Hebda who’ll be heading up the archdiocese,” Bambrick said.

While Bambrick said only those directly involved in the change know if the recent scandal affected the decision, he said it likely had a significant impact in Rome. “We’ve seen with Pope Francis that where bishops have recently had instances of maleficence he has removed them,” he said.

While Bambrick has been critical of Myers, he said Myers has done some great, influential work. “There’s no reason to dishonor him or disrespect him so I think this is a way of being respectful toward the archbishop and his work but also coming to the aid of the archdiocese in Newark at this time which is important,” Bambrick said.

With this move and Pope Francis’ recent interview where he said church officials should not focus too much on issues of abortion, contraception and gay marriage, Bambrick said he believes the church is going through a change.

“I think we’re experiencing the Franciscan revolution, if I can put it that way. Pope Francis is an extraordinary man. Although he’s not changing any of our doctrines or dogmas or beliefs, he is changing the way we approach them. I would say he’s the man for the new evangelization,” Bambrick said. “He’s really presenting the faith in a new and fresh way. He wants people to perceive what we say yes to, what we rejoice in and not really dwell on things that are negative. As he himself has said, Jesus came to proclaim the good news. That’s what people want to hear. They don’t want to hear the bad news.”

  • Judy Jones

    How is this move, of making Bishop Bernie Hebda coadjutor archbishop of the Newark diocese, going to protect kids today?

    The sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy is still going on to this day. Cardinals and bishops are still covering up sex crimes against kids, they are still not removing accused predator clergy, and they still are not reporting to law enforcement. Their so called “zero tolerance” policy is not being followed by all the bishops who created it. They don’t have to, because there is no punishment to force the bishops to change their ways of protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting innocent kids. There are many of these bishops who need to be held accountable. Until that happens nothing will change.

    Sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day, so silence is not an options anymore, it only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  • smpturlish

    “Well, I probably would meet more often with the editorial board of the Star-Ledger,” he quipped to wild applause.

    I watched and listen to Myers remarks on the NJ News on Tuesday night and heard he make the statement quoted above. The reporter did not go far enough. I thought the applause and screaming was worse than “wild.” It was obscenely so.

    Archbishop Myers should be moved out physically ASAP for the good of all, especially the now adult victims of clergy sexual abuse who have borne the brunt of Myers’ grossly insensitive, and harmful attitude.

    Myers may have “done some great, influential work” during his tenure in the Newark Archdiocese but that will be forgotten with the passage of time. However he will be remembered for his callous attitude toward victims and his documented cover-up and protection of known sexual predators.

    Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
    Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
    New Castle, DE


  • Dylan

    Father Bambrick was hated by his previous parish of St. Josephs Church of Toms River , New Jersey. There was “much jubilation” when he left. I know atheists with a kinder heart than that man. Honestly, he should be flogged.