Matt C. Abbott
Jim Pouillon, RIP; Priest suing archbishop, monsignor
By Matt C. Abbott
September 12, 2009

Some sad news to report: Michigan pro-life activist Jim Pouillon was shot to death on the morning of Sept. 11.

The perpetrator of the murder, Harlan Drake, 33, also reportedly killed another man during the same time period. Drake was angered by Poullion's pro-life witness.

Joe Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League, issued the following statement regarding Poullion's murder:

    'We are shocked to learn of the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, a man who day after day stood as a witness to the violence of abortion. Now he himself is a victim of violence. Just last month at a clinic on the north side of Chicago a man shouted to one of our counselors, 'I'll get my gun and shoot you through the head.' On a number of occasions, our Face the Truth Tour was threatened with deadly weapons.

    'When late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller was murdered, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office launched a federal investigation into federal crimes in connection with the murder, and the Civil Rights Division convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers. Now the Pro-Life Action League is calling on those government agencies to investigate this murder and established a task force to protect pro-life advocates.'

Requiescat in pace, Jim.

The following is the text of a complaint recently filed by Father Robert Hoatson against the Archdiocese of Newark:

____________ PART

Docket No.:

Plaintiff,   COMPLAINT





The REV. ROBERT M. HOATSON, pro se plaintiff, avers to the following as and for a complaint against the defendants.

1. The plaintiff, Rev. Robert M. Hoatson, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, and resides at 46 Morris Road, West Orange, in the County of Essex, in the State of New Jersey.

2. The defendants are businesses and persons who reside at 89 Ridge Street, Newark, in the County of Essex, in the State of New Jersey. Archbishop John J. Myers and Monsignor John Doran are employees of and agents for the Archdiocese of Newark.

3. The plaintiff is employed as a priest with the defendant Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. This action is for injunctive and other appropriate relief for the plaintiff to be able to preside at his aunt's funeral.

4. In late, 2008, the plaintiff began telephoning the Office of Archbishop John J. Myers in order to request permission to preside at the funeral of Mrs. Mary O'Connor, a very close aunt of the plaintiff who was then in declining and deteriorating health. Her five children and their spouses believed that their mother and mother-in-law was in danger of dying, and they specifically requested that the plaintiff preside at her funeral which has recently become a greater and urgent likelihood.

5. Archbishop Myers never responded to at least two telephone calls made by the plaintiff in late November and early December, 2008, and on December 10, 2008, the plaintiff telephoned again and spoke to Archbishop Myers' secretary.

6. When plaintiff informed the Archbishop's secretary that he was awaiting word regarding permission to preside at a relative's funeral, she transferred him to the office of the Vicar General, Monsignor John Doran. Monsignor Doran returned plaintiff's call, told him he had never met him and did not know him, and then proceeded to deny him permission to preside at his aunt's funeral for no apparent reason.

7. Monsignor Doran told plaintiff he was being denied permission to preside at his aunt's funeral "because of your [his] situation." When plaintiff requested more specific information regarding "his situation," Monsignor Doran reiterated, "because of your situation." When plaintiff asked him to be more specific, he refused to elaborate.

8. Plaintiff reminded Monsignor Doran that he was in the same supposed "situation" when he was granted permission in March, 2007, to preside at the funeral of the husband of his cousin at Saint Joseph's Church, West Orange. At this funeral, the plaintiff was allowed to preside at a small, close family funeral, and did so without incident. Plaintiff asked Monsignor Doran why his "situation" had changed. He refused to elaborate.

9. On December 20, 2005, plaintiff was placed on administrative leave by Archbishop Myers because of his filing of a lawsuit against him, the Archdiocese of Newark, and a number of other Catholic entities and persons. At that time, he was instructed by Monsignor Robert Emery, Vicar General, that his placement on administrative leave was not a punitive measure; rather, plaintiff's administrative leave would be in effect until his lawsuit was decided. The lawsuit is pending.

10. On December 13, 2008, plaintiff wrote to Archbishop Myers asking for his reconsideration of the refusal issued by Monsignor Doran. He never responded to plaintiff's letter (attached is the letter — Exhibit A).

11. On January 5, 2009, plaintiff wrote again to Archbishop Myers to renew his request for permission to preside at his aunt's funeral. Archbishop Myers never responded and has not responded to this day (attached is the letter — Exhibit B).

12. Even though plaintiff's administrative leave is not a punitive measure, he is being punished and retaliated against once again because of his effective ministry of healing for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, because he is a whistleblower regarding the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse by the Archdiocese of Newark, and because he is a heterosexual man in what has become a predominantly homosexual profession; namely, the priesthood. Archbishop Myers and Monsignor Doran protect actively homosexual men and retaliate against priests who are not homosexual and complain about deviant sexual behavior among Archdiocesan priests.

13. A few years ago and pursuant to his responsibility, plaintiff reported to Archbishop Myers that a classmate of his from the seminary, Father Marc Vicari, had propositioned him for sex in the seminary while both were studying for the priesthood. Archbishop Myers had just appointed Father Vicari to a supervisory position dealing with young men who were interested in joining the priesthood. Plaintiff believed these young men were at risk with Father Vicari as their supervisor, and plaintiff made this known. Monsignor Doran is believed to be retaliating against plaintiff for reporting the behavior of Father Vicari, since Father Vicari was stationed at Monsignor's Doran's parish in South Orange, New Jersey, and was being mentored by Monsignor Doran.

14. Archbishop Myers and Monsignor Doran continue to retaliate against plaintiff by denying his right and duty to minster to his family, especially during times of sadness and grief. Both men grant permission to pedophile priests, priest thieves, active homosexual priests, and other deviant priests to preside at funerals and other ceremonies, but they refuse to allow the plaintiff the same indulgence.

15. In June, 2009, a Newark Archdiocesan priest was removed from a Newark, New Jersey, parish for stealing from the parish and harboring drug addicts in the rectory. He was transferred to another parish and is allowed to preside at funerals and all other ceremonies.

16. In June, 2009, a Newark Archdiocesan pastor was removed from a Bergen County parish for forcing a young male to live on the couch in his room and using this man over a three year period for sexual pleasure, upon information and belief. This priest provided the young man a no-show job in the parish and paid for drugs the man needed to survive in the rectory. The pastor was transferred to another parish and is permitted to preside at funerals and all other ceremonies.

17. In January, 2009, a former high ranking member of Archbishop Myers' administration, and current pastor of a Union County parish, was reported to the Union County Prosecutor for forcing a young seminarian assigned to his parish to engage in homosexual sex with him. Archbishop Myers and Monsignor Doran have allowed this pastor to exercise his priestly ministry, including presiding at funerals and other religious ceremonies, despite knowing about his deviant behavior.

18. Plaintiff is requesting of this Court to order the Archdiocese of Newark to "show cause" as to why plaintiff is being singled out for retaliation and discipline and to grant appropriate injunctive relief. While plaintiff's aunt has not yet died and rallied temporarily from her previous illness, her age is increasing (93) and her health continues to deteriorate. This Court is asked to allow plaintiff's participation at her funeral by issuing an injunction against the defendants, temporary, preliminary and injunctive relief, or other equitable relief.

19. There is no prejudice to the defendants in this matter since the funeral Mass of approximately one hour is essentially a private event with family and close friends in attendance, and the Archdiocese of Newark is free to send supervisory personnel to the funeral to monitor the plaintiff's actions.


20. The plaintiff repeats and realleges all allegations set out.

21. As and for a first cause of action, plaintiff respectfully requests injunctive relief.

22. The plaintiff requests temporary relief, a preliminary injunction, or other equitable relief allowing the plaintiff to preside at his aunt's funeral.

23. The plaintiff has set out in the accompanying affidavit, exhibits, and the complaint the elements that are necessary for the equitable relief, and there is or would be no prejudice to the defendants.

24. Should this relief not be granted, the injury and harm to the plaintiff would be irreparable.

25. The defendants have not set out any reasons for the denial of this humane and appropriate relief.


26. The plaintiff repeats and realleges all allegations set out.

27. This cause of action is for unlawful retaliation and discrimination.

28. The defendants have targeted plaintiff for retaliation and discrimination because of his filing of a lawsuit against the defendants and other Church entities and persons, and because plaintiff assists survivors of clergy sexual abuse in their recoveries.

29. Many priests in the Archdiocese of Newark have committed offenses that qualify them for discipline and sanction, but the defendants do not discipline them, and allow them to preside at private family services and funerals. For example, the defendants are aware of and fully cognizant of the behaviors of several priests who have abused children and adults, both sexually and spiritually, but they refuse to discipline them. Instead, the defendants deliberately target the plaintiff who is a whistleblower and a reporter of both criminal and immoral behavior.

30. The defendants recommended to Pope Benedict XVI recently that several priests of the Archdiocese be elevated to the rank of monsignor. Several of these priests have committed acts of sexual abuse, sexual deviance, harboring pedophile priests, propositioning men for sex, cybersex, and other acts that would prompt their superiors to discipline them. Instead, the defendants recommended that they be elevated.

31. The plaintiff is denied presiding at a one-hour funeral Mass because he "blows the whistle" on these actions of other priests and the defendants.

32. The actions of the defendants in refusing to allow the plaintiff to preside at his aunt's imminent funeral is an act of retaliation and discrimination.

Wherefore, plaintiff respectfully requests the relief requested. The facts set out in the complaint are true and accurate, and plaintiff swears to the accuracy of same pursuant to the laws of perjury, and the matters set out as true, based upon plaintiff's information and belief, are true to information and records available to the plaintiff.

Robert M. Hoatson

Sworn before me on this _____
day of September, 2009.

Notary Public

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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