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.

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Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 9, 2017 at 6:18am

If there were no video and/or if the DA wasn't already involved, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Diocese would have hid him away someplace.  Saying the Church "has big problems with regard to sex..." is down playing the Church's systemic corruption.  They could care less about the poor girl.  Their only concerns are for THEIR pedophile and their own PR.

Comment by Terry McKenna on August 9, 2017 at 6:27am

I don't see this piece as downplaying church corruption.  Just trying to keep to a single main point.  The Church's corruption goes back as long as it has had power.  

Comment by Terry McKenna on August 9, 2017 at 6:42am

Also, I am waiting for the next issue of the diocesan newspaper to see if they cover this at all.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 9, 2017 at 8:05am

Please update us on that. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on August 9, 2017 at 9:46am

I had a friend who was Catholic and her take on celibate priests was she thought it right so they could give their all to their 'flock' - and she added how sad it must be to be the wife of a preacher who is always on call to the congregation. Having a husband who is a preacher's kid, I know his mom had it tough raising those kids while the husband got all the 'glory' of being beloved and admired.... but she was his rock and a big reason why he was/is a stable and good and decent human and preacher, imho. (And yes, it took me ages to get in a smooth place with the way more conservative than me preacher dad, I walked out right in the middle of the first sermon I ever heard him give.)

I didn't get into it with the Catholic friend, she's too deep into her church, but when she said that about being pro-celibacy for priests, my mind immediately and cynically thought, "And that is the trouble with being a celibate priest, far too often they are 'giving their all' where they shouldn't!" (Sorry for being crude.) She also seemed to conveniently blame everything on "It's our fallen nature, you know." which to me seemed an easy out of responsibility for any misdeed. Maybe/likely the whole church suffers from that 'out.'

Comment by Terry McKenna on August 9, 2017 at 10:16am

Anna: i can understand that a family takes away from the time a pastor can give to others but the unrealistic expectation regarding an emotional and sex life are far more compelling (so i agree with you).

Comment by Foolish Monkey on August 9, 2017 at 12:11pm

family keeps a person grounded in what it is to be human.  all the emotions one could experience come from raising a family, loving them and wanting to give to them, a good, loving life.

what the catholic church does is shove humans into impossible molds and tells them them must remake themselves to fit.  but there's a big payoff - they are the center of a community, there's power in that.  and power in the role of successful priest to the mother church.  there's nothing the church won't do for it's priest.  nuns can starve but priests are the alpha and omega of the church and all good things go to them.

it's a patriarchal distorted life where the priest is not just god, he acts as God to the parish.  frankly, it's not healthy and it's a wonder there are any sane priests.  

btw, they aren't supposed to have sex but the church looks the other way at priests who do...regardless of sex.  they really don't much care.  I knew a very popular priest, he was the head of the church where I was baptised.  he had an affair and married a woman who was opus dei.  neither of them were excommunicated.  he was told by his cardinal - THE CARDINAL - J, come back whenever you want.  they'd have annulled the marriage and taken him back into the fold.

it's no wonder they're molesters.  they have power issues and this religion GIVES them the power to be and do anything they want. 

Comment by Terry McKenna on August 9, 2017 at 12:45pm

thanks FM.  i had thought of myself as not a Catholic but over time, my wife (a protestant) convinced my that my dark soul is still catholic.

Comment by Boanerges on August 9, 2017 at 2:35pm

One of the ghastliest sex abuse trials I ever covered involved a (by then defrocked) Catholic priest. It was horrible -- even to someone as jaded as I was -- listening to the victim impact statements from women who had been little girls at the time. He died in prison not long after, and I for one wasn't sorry.

That said, one of the finest men I ever knew was a priest who kept his vows of celibacy and chastity, enlisted in the Second War as a padre in the Canadian army and believed in ecumenism so strongly I'm surprised he wasn't brought up on the bishop's carpet for a blistering. I have a copy of his war diary, which is dedicated to all the Catholics, non-Catholics and Jews who served (and whom he served) during the war.

It is, as always, down to the individual. I'm not religious at all (a lapsed Protestant -- you know, one of the Rotary religions), but I do respect integrity, in whatever guise it presents itself. As for that Catholic "dark soul", Terry ... well, you and Red would have a lot to talk about, I think. We have interesting discussions on that topic.


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