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Yet another ‘whoops’ moment for the Roman Catholic Church

Yet another ‘whoops’ moment for the Roman Catholic Church

At the beginning of July, Marcin A Nurek, 37, above, was ordained a priest – but before he could take up his a post as parochial vicar this month at St Catherine of Siena Church in Mountain Lakes in New Jersey, he was arrested for allegedly fondling a teen’s butt and telling her ‘you’re sexy’.

Richard Sokerka, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Paterson, said in this report that Nurek has been placed on administrative leave and cannot now function as a priest.

According to The Beacon, the weekly newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, in 2016 Nurek was made a transitional deacon, the final step before the call to the Sacrament of Holy Orders – the priesthood – in 2017. On July 1, Diocese of Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli ordained Nurek to the priesthood along with others.

The Diocese issued a statement, saying it is saddened by the incident and is cooperating fully with the Prosecutor’s Office. It also said that Nurek had completed all training related to proper conduct with children.

The Diocese of Paterson was informed of Nurek’s arrest last Thursday following an alleged incident occurred in the town of Boonton. Nurek is accused of putting his hand under the girl’s skirt and touched her buttocks over her underwear.

Nurek was part of the largest ordination ceremony ever held in the US on July 1 in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. Beacon Photos: Joe Gigli/Rich Gigli

Nurek was charged with endangering the welfare of a child – whose age was listed as being at least 13 but younger than 16 – and criminal sexual contact.

Via a closed-circuit television link between the Morris County jail and the Superior Court, Nurek appeared on Friday for an initial review before Judge Ira Cohen.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez said the state has filed a motion to detain Nurek in the county jail until the charges are resolved. A detention hearing was scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow).

Nurek, from Poland, was assisted during the hearing by a Polish interpreter. Nurek’s status as a priest was not mentioned at the hearing but other court records and documents confirmed his ordination.

The diocese said in a statement:

Rev Nurek arrived in the United States from Poland in March of 2015 … His international criminal history background check was completed on October 17, 2014 and was clear. He completed the Diocese’s Protecting God’s Children educational program on April 9, 2015 and he signed the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct on March 9, 2015.

17 responses to “Yet another ‘whoops’ moment for the Roman Catholic Church”

  1. Broga says:

    “”The Diocese is deeply saddened by the charges filed against Rev. Nurek and offers its prayers to everyone involved, especially the minor who has come forward.”

    May I translate that from religion speak:

    “Another complete fuck up. And after we gave him these lovely, decorated frocks this is the thanks we get. We want these back for a start to use for someone else. Why can’t they be more careful? Changed days and not for the better. Now they “come forward” as if there was something wrong with it. We are celibate, for Christ’s sake, we need some relief. No respect and understanding for priests any more.

    Sticks his hand up her skirt. So bloody obvious. Better get to work on the prayer bit. I dunno. Not like the old days when it was open season on the youth of the parishes. Sometimes I think the fun has gone out of the job.”

  2. L.Long says:

    Now this is just an accusation, no one has shown any evidence. Other then she said/he said, what do we have? Has the preacher taken jesus into his heart and confessed? And other then ‘other preachers have done this’ what else is here? But this cute innocent girl claims this!!! Ya Right! There are no girls that would ever do something nasty!! Ya believe that and I have a big bridge for sale…cheap!
    Now think about any of you being accused! How do you prove you did not do this?? I would like to see some witness who saw his hand up her dress.
    Remember we are suppose to be critical thinkers…where is the evidence?

  3. Daz says:

    @L.Long

    Almost all abuse cases, especially those of sexual abuse and rape, come down to “he said she said.” It’s part (but only part) of the reason they’re so difficult to prove objectively.

    But you make another accusation. That she is probably lying. Given your apparent wish for evidence-based, critical thinking, would you care to explain your own reasoning—which I’m sure adheres strictly to your own stated principles, yes?

    In fact the most we can say, after donning our Vulcan hats and ignoring any social and emotional factors, is that the Scottish Verdict might be appropriate. But hey, you go ahead and rant uncritically and unreasonably. You obviously enjoy it.

  4. L.Long says:

    DAZ…. No I did not say she is PROBABLY lying, but that cute girls are not to be automatically considered as NOT lying, just cuz they are cute girls. Just as he is not guilty just cuz he is a preacher. And by inference I hope he is guilty, as I pointed out…how would you prove you DID NOT do this if you were in a similar position??? It was not so much guilt or innocence, but automatic assignment of such just cuz!

  5. Daz says:

    Reading your initial comment again, I cannot make the inferences from it which you claim to have wished to make. At the same time, judging from the language employed and the parts you chose to emphasise by use of your (extremely annoying) patented multiple exclamation marks, the inference I made appears to me to be highly reasonable.

    So. Either you’re lying and trying to retroactively “fix” your comment because someone called you out on your hypocrisy, or you cannot express yourself for toffee. I cannot decide which, but either way it’s something you should probably work on.

  6. Broga says:

    There has been a history of children not being believed when they said they had been abused. In the past they were often not believed because the alleged abuser was a priest and had the protection of religion. This does not mean that the girl must be believed but, unlike often in the past, it does mean that due weight should be given to what she says.

    Opinion may now have swung so far in the opposite direction that priests, instead of being protected by their religion, are regarded with suspicion. They could suffer unfairly because of this. Their history, and the steps the Vatican has so often taken to protect guilty priests, now does them no favours.

    How is this to be decided? I suppose, lacking a witness, the quality of the evidence given by priest and girl will be decisive. As will the ability of the lawyers.

  7. John the Drunkard says:

    Of course, thanks to the ‘Satanic Panic’ of the 1980s, there’s a parallel tradition of children not being believed when they failed to report the imaginary crimes that therapists and prosecutors drilled into them.

    The underreporting, and delayed reporting, of sexual crimes is a Real Thing. Legitimate accusations require full consideration, the (quite rare) false ones are not any justification for the desperate claims of ‘he said/she said’ that the Menz ‘advocates’ constantly throw up.

    Odd, how The Church has to import clergy from dank backwaters and third world hell-holes. Even the U.S. is too literate and rational to provide an adequate supply of pulpit fillers.

  8. L.Long says:

    OK DAZ as you wish! I cannot do anything about interpretation of words! I’ll make it simpler…EVERYONE LIES!!! even sexy cute little girls & preachers. So some sweet thing accuses you of the same…how do you prove you did not do so? Can’t? Well see you in 5yrs!

  9. remigius says:

    ‘…how do you prove you did not do so? Can’t? Well see you in 5yrs!’

    L.Long. It is not up to the defendant to prove he didn’t do it. The burden of proof lies solely with the prosecution. If they cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the offence charged then he is acquitted.

  10. Cali Ron says:

    What’s with all the arguing over details that are not in the source article and before a trial. It gives no details so we don’t really know if there were witnesses, what she said, what he said or any other details. Perhaps, it would be more rational to hold back judgement and not trash either the accuser or the accused until all the facts are know. Who knows, maybe they dusted here panties and got finger prints. Maybe he confessed. Maybe it was caught by a surveillance camera (panty cam). Once the facts are known then we can condemn or not accordingly.

  11. Daz says:

    “EVERYONE LIES!!! even sexy cute little girls & preachers.”

    Which has the most reason to lie in this case? Which has the most reason not to?

    Nor is the cuteness or not (and I have no idea of nor interest in whether I would find her so) of the girl in question of any relevance. That you find it to be, especially in the absence of any picture or description, says more, I think, about your own prejudices than it does of those who you claim to be acting from prejudice. I would encourage you to examine your own use of the word “sexy,” given her age.

    “So some sweet thing accuses you of the same…how do you prove you did not do so?”

    If you are not and were not trying to make the case that one or the other is lying, this is merely a statement that such cases are difficult to prove one way or the other. What is your point? Why is this statement of the bleedin’ obvious necessary?

    “Can’t? Well see you in 5yrs!”

    Your assumption that those who are accused of sexual abuse are less likely to be given the benefit of the doubt in the courts both of law and of public opinion is laughable. The reverse, if anything, would seem to be the case.

  12. StephenJP says:

    I must say this is a rum do. This man is supposed to have undergone all the relevant child-protection training, having been barely a month in the US, but at the last stage of his promotion from “transitional deacon” (whatever that may be) he is fingered (as it were) for groping. It is not even clear who made the accusation (the report doesn’t say that it was the girl). And when it comes to the court hearing, he has to have a Polish interpreter to help him understand what’s going on.

    There is an awful lot that is unexplained in this report.

  13. latsot says:

    @L.Long:

    This is a newspaper report of a criminal case in progress. Many of the details obviously cannot be shared for legal reasons.

    Therefore, it seems likely that you can’t possibly know that:

    “no one has shown any evidence.”

    as you assert.

    As others here have said, there is a long history of women and girls and boys being disbelieved when they have made accusations of sexual assault. The church has a particularly shocking record of this and in many cases the police and courts have been complicit in siding with the church. Even outside the church, your “he said, she said” attitude has resulted in a lot of injustice. It’s not always the case that we should treat the testimony of adversaries
    with equal weight.

    For these reasons, such accusations have to be taken particularly seriously and, thankfully, in this case, it has.

    Clearly there was sufficient evidence for a criminal charge and for the courts to decide it was worth prosecuting (I don’t know what is required in New Jersey, but it’s bound to be more than a simple accusation).

    More evidence, I expect, will be presented in court and we’ll see what the jury makes of it. I just hope you’re not on the jury.

    As you say, we’re supposed to be critical thinkers. You aren’t doing it right.

  14. latsot says:

    @John the Drunkard:

    “Odd, how The Church has to import clergy from dank backwaters and third world hell-holes.”

    I’m not sure I would call Poland a dank backwater or a third world hell-hole.

  15. L.Long says:

    All I was getting at, was that the trial is in place and we KNOW VERY LITTLE, so saying the girl is a sweat innocent or the preacher is pedophile is not valid. And anyone who thinks you don’t have to PROVE yourself innocent has never been in a real court! With a jury they will look at the defendant who sits there doing nothing cuz he has to be proven guilty and will suspect him of something!

  16. latsot says:

    @L.Long:
    “so saying the girl is a sweat innocent or the preacher is pedophile is not valid. ”

    And you’ll note that nobody said that. YOU were the one who brought that whole idea up.

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