Fr. John, I guess we hardly knew you? What hurts the most is that these are supposed to be the trusted people, the rock of the community like 'Peter the Rock' From Matthew 16 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven...."
We trusted you with the spiritual health of communities in North Newark and Essex County and this is what resulted from that trust: a line a mile long of accusers alleging that you abused them? I would love to know what went wrong with the whole thing, the Jesuits, the Rice Brothers, the archdioceses, etc...our inner cities are in deeper moral crisis like no time ever....our youth, especially minority youth, are shooting each other and being shot (and killed) as just a fact of life everyday, and the Catholic high schools and institutions are closing for lack of funding and lack of manpower.
Those two events are not unrelated...the guidance is gone, the moral strength is gone, one mom and six kids can't do it alone, we aren't designed for that much stress in a bubbling county of temptations.....those Catholic schools were suppose to fill in the void and all the actors have done is feather their own perverted nests with the hearts and souls of your young!
My memories of Essex Catholic (class of 1988) and so on are of baseball, hockey, physics class, writing for the school newspaper, a discovery of self and purpose; unfortunately many many people's memories will be of horrifying, unspeakable abuse at the hands of the successors Peter....the sons of the bakers, the masons, harvesters, the butchers, the bricklayers, THE BUILDERS, will never be the same, not in this life.....