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Archbishop Recants Apology for Sex Abuse, Says "I don't Think We Did Anything Wrong"

 
 
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 Who's the worst person in the world? Right now I'd have to say it's this guy:

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....

Now, 10 years later and in retirement, Cardinal Egan has taken back his apology.

In a interview with Connecticut magazine published on the magazine's Web site last week, 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."

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." ...

That's from Andy Newman at The New York Times, who's clearly trying to find a judicious, objective-sounding way of telling us that Cardinal Egan is a lying, evil SOB. Go to the Connecticut magazine interview and you'll see that same point being made by interviewer Tom Connor with no punches pulled: 

Ten years ago this spring, the sexual abuse crisis involving hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and thousands of young victims broke nationally in the media, engulfing dioceses from Boston to Los Angeles but also the Diocese of Bridgeport, where 23 lawsuits against seven local priests were working their way through the courts.

Three years earlier, however, this magazine had reported on long-standing and widespread abuses in the diocese ("Gods and Monsters,"May 1999; link opens a .pdf of the original story), then under the leadership of Bishop Edward Egan. In that article, Egan was portrayed as a wily, coldly-calculating defender of the Church and abusive priests, more corporate lawyer than spiritual guardian. The article revealed that he had let accused priests continue to work in local parishes, authorized payments to victims in exchange for silence agreements, and lied about those payments during a deposition....

And that indignation extends to the interview, as it appears on the site. Here's the cardinal claiming he just cleaned up his predecessor's mess, and did it so skillfully there were no further incidents -- which turns out not to be quite accurate: 

EGAN: You know, I never had one of these sex abuse cases, either in Bridgeport or here (New York). Not one.... I took care of them one by one. None of them did anything wrong. One of them spent four years in treatment at the Institute of Living in Hartford. I investigated this and at the end I put him in a convent as an assistant chaplain in Danbury. Only once did I not use the Institute of the Living -- I used Johns Hopkins because the man was in Baltimore.

CT Magazine: You mean Laurence Brett (a serial molester who was cycled through eight parishes in the diocese and a family of ten in California before relocating to Maryland, where he was accused of abusing more boys. He was still on the run from the FBI when he died in the Caribbean in 2010).

EGAN: Yep. I sent him to the most expensive place and I did exactlywhat we were told to do. And as a result, not one of them (the accused priests) did a thing out of line....

The interview is all like that: Egan claiming nothing bad happened on his watch, arrogantly denying any responsibility for suffering, whining about the fact that people still ask him about this, and displaying not an ounce of compassion or empathy for the victims. 

 Oh, and did I mention this? 

Leslie Lothstein ... a psychologist at the Institute of Living, in Hartford, has treated about 300 Roman Catholic priests, not only those with sexual problems, but also those with alcoholism, depression and other mental illnesses.... 

He unwittingly found himself in the news almost 10 years ago, when it was reported that the Catholic Church had sent priests to the Institute of Living for treatment without always telling the doctors the full details of the priests' transgressions.... What's more, the Catholic hierarchy often ignored the institute's recommendations about the priests' fitness for service. 

"I found that they rarely followed our recommendations," Dr. Lothstein told The Hartford Courant in 2002. "They would put them back into work where they still had access to vulnerable populations." ...

And these priests are the people who lecture us about morality because we support abortion rights, or gay marriage, or full access to birth control.

No More Mister Nice Blog / By Steve M. | Sourced from

Posted at February 8, 2012, 10:24am