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 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.