Comments will be moderated. I invite clear expression of opinion, but please don't make this the location for your rant. I will delete.
When I see priests, especially young priests, I wonder how they can possibly tolerate their forced sexless lives.
It is one thing for an older man (or woman) but for the young ones, I can’t see how they do it. Desire remains all of ones life, but at 66 years of age, I can see that it is lessened now. But for the younger ones - I just can’t see how they manage - and here we see once again that they don't. When sex is forbidden, it will force its way into ones life anyway.
So it was that a newly ordained priest was arrested after he was caught (on video!) trying to touch a teenage girl.
He was arrested and charged. His priestly duties have been suspended. But I still wonder when the Church will recognize the futility of its rules on sex. All of them, from banning birth control to celibacy (to forbidding homosexual sexual relations).
In this case, the priest was local. Assigned to St Catherine of Sienna in Mountain Lakes. His offense occurred in Boonton (I have been in Boonton many times, my singing teacher had a studio on Main Street). And he was ordained by Bishop Arthur Serratelli, who I have also seen many times. I wonder how Arthur deals with his desires? What lies does he tell himself? What lies does he preach to his “flock.” He is old enough to have known many of the priests in his diocese who came under scrutiny for child abuse. But like any person whose career involves a commitment to an organization, he is stuck. He can’t say anything or his gig is over.
The Catholic Church has big problems with regard to sex, but most religions do. For example, there were incidents of sex abuse (between rabbis and young boys) at ritual baths in Brooklyn - but it was swept under the rug (mostly). For other churches, the abuse comes and goes and barely lasts more than a news cycle. (Who even remembers which preacher was caught getting blow jobs from a prostitute 20 some years back).
Many who come to this site despise religion. For me, I recognize that religion is just another of those things that come with being human. We need to make certain occasions solemn. Religious figures have long played the role of ceremonial host. Similarly, we need moral teachers. And yes, many of us do well on our own. But the role of explaining a society to itself has also been reserved for the priests, pastors and such. (Rabbis too).
For my self, I married my wife before a judge, and we did not baptize our son. - so I reject any religious authority, but respect others who accept it. And Jesus’s sayings form a remarkable body of moral ideas.
From the local newspaper:
Marcin 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 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 has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Nurek, an immigrant of 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.
According to The Beacon, the weekly newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, Nurek was ordained in 2016 as 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 the arrest of Rev. Marcin Nurek at approximately 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at which time the Morris County Prosecutor's Office was immediately notified. Since then, the Diocese has cooperated fully with the Prosecutor's Office in its investigation," the statement said.
"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. Because this matter is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation, all further inquiries should be directed to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office," the statement said.