In case you missed it — and I’ve been furious about this since yesterday morning when I first read about it, especially given the current Catholic-led attack against women’s health. Check out this stunning admission from a guy who was one of the highest ranking Catholics in the US:
In 2002, at the height of the outcry over the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests, the Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan, issued a letter to be read at Mass. In it, he offered an apology about the church’s handling of sex-abuse cases in New York and in Bridgeport, Conn., where he was previously posted.
“It is clear that today we have a much better understanding of this problem,” he wrote. “If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry.”
Now, 10 years later and in retirement, Cardinal Egan has taken back his apology.
In an interview in the February issue of Connecticut magazine, a surprisingly frank Cardinal Egan said of the apology, “I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”
The scary part is that he and his fellow Catholic leaders really don’t think they did anything wrong.
Also, Egan lied. Flat out lied:
He said many more things in the interview, some of them seemingly at odds with the facts. He repeatedly denied that any sex abuse had occurred on his watch in Bridgeport. He said that even now, the church in Connecticut had no obligation to report sexual abuse accusations to the authorities. (A law on the books since the 1970s says otherwise.) And he described the Bridgeport diocese’s handling of sex-abuse cases as “incredibly good.”
He lied. There were many, many cases under Egan’s watch:
During then-Bishop Egan’s reign in Bridgeport, from 1988 to 2000, dozens of people came forward with claims of sex abuse by priests, some of it having occurred recently. One priest checked himself out of a psychiatric center and continued to receive a stipend from the diocese after he had been accused by a dozen parishioners of abuses involving anal sex and beatings.
But, in Egan’s view, nothing happened and he’s not sorry.
If the Catholic Church wants another discussion of its role in enabling and covering up this horrific scandal, we’re game. Egan and his ilk are the same people who are challenging Obama over birth control right now. These are the same paragons of virtue who have made hating on the gays a top priority. They’re very quick to accuse other of sins and transgressions. But, we should never, ever forgive what Egan and his fellow Bishops and Archbishops did. They destroyed the lives of so many young people. And, they’re not really sorry because, in their warped world, as Egan said, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”
Most Catholics don’t listen to their Bishops and Cardinals — with good reason.