Cardinal Egan Retracts Apology

This highlights the ignorance and arrogance that has hindered any real healing and change.

Click here to read: “Cardinal Egan Criticized for Retracting Apology on Sex Abuse Crisis,” by Andy Newman, The New York Times, February 7, 2012


“I never should have said that,” (in reference to apology) 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.”

40 thoughts on “Cardinal Egan Retracts Apology

  1. How much more sleazy can this get! Apparently a lot more, and no one should be surpised, shocked or disappointed that The Church hierarchy has yet again, and will, yet again and again, continue to drag The Church and The Faithful through more and more emotional and soul destroying torment – especially the victims. If this isn’t the height of blasphemy not only against God but the victims, then I don’t understand the misssion of The Church. It is inconceivable to me that Cardinal Egan put out this statement without full knowledge of high-ups in The Church.

    How much longer Lord – how much longer?


    1. A LOT longer Reid..And bad as Egan is, the situation in Milwaukee is even more horrible …..540 abuse claims requested by the diocese….as part of a bankruptcy requirement…and now the diocese is busy dissalowing these same claims. Those poor victims who came forward…. ?

      But I think the problem in part, is that the RCC is profoundly unmanageable. There are fewer than 50 folks in the ‘Holy Office’ handling worldwide abuse issues, each diocese is an individual fiefdom, national bishops conferences ‘advise or recommend’ certain procedures, but apparently have no sanctioning power….thats how you get an Egan, or those dioceses that don’t comply with the rather cosmetic ‘Charter’

      A look at some rather rough stats, makes my point.

       With 4946 bishops worldwide in 2167 dioceses, and 630 archdioceses to say nothing of other rites,  and over 39,000 priests it could be argued that the church management of the sexual abuse problem worldwide and the implementation of not just optional but required programs is virtually impossible.

      1. Joan, the Catholic Church is quite manageable when and if papal dictator and his curial conspirators want to manage it. Where there is a will, there is a way.

        The Church has spent billions managing effectively thousands of private lawyers and civil lawsuits.The pope has succeeded (so far) in staying ahead of the sheriff and lives very well. He is still able to con tens of millions of docile pew Catholics.

        Rome has little interest in managing foreign pedophile priests and their complicit bishops from Rome. The less the pope knows, the less he has to lie about. He has enough to do trying to stay on top of the curial crooks.

      2. Actually Jerry, I have this ongoing fantasy, that, if serious about the abuse situation, instead of one Papal Envoy, and using the US as an example, there would be at least ten of these guys, in the US whose job description would be a regular rotational run through the several hundred US dioceses and visits to each diocese to learn what was REALLY happening abuse wise. AND it needs to be done world wide!!!

        These additional envoys would meet with the local ordinary AND local law enforcement, social services, the DA, and the media, to say nothing of meetings with Survivors groups and groups that work to protect children from abuse.

        Right now, one each in KC, Milwaukee, and Philly come to mind!

        It would also be necessary to vastly increase …in the many hundreds…the folks in the ‘Holy Office’ ( I think it’s only ten folks who work on abuse issues specifically). In my organizational fantasy the hugely increased Holy Office staff would coordinate, world wide and often with those many many Papal Envoy’s relative to ‘their learnings’ and the appropriate actions that should then ensue.

        It’s called ‘monitoring’ . Folks who are serious about change, do these kinds of things!

      3. Its easy to manage. You’ve never heard of a child sex incident in over 50 years at Disney, and the president of Disney can’t excommunicate you and send you to hell.

        All this ever needed was for a handful of church leaders to tell the truth instead of hiding it, and for the pope to call child rape an unforgivable sin (which it is).

        Let any Christian who is not a Catholic priest run the Catholic church, and the problem would be solved quickly.

    1. At the time he might have thought an apology was good PR even though he did not mean it? now he is afraid he might be sued?

  2. Archbishop Dolan declined to comment on Cardinal Egan’s comments, but said the cardinal had always “responded appropriately and with rigor” to sex-abuse cases.

    “responded appropriately and with rigor” ???? Maybe when Dolan becomes Cardinal Dolan he’ll be able to explain this statement for all of us. Could be he is referring to the “rigor mortis” that is slowly overtaking the Catholic leadership throughout this country.

  3. I truly want to believe that Cardinal Egan had a very, very, very weak moment….I want to offer the possibility that the cheese may have fallen off his cracker, that he may be showing signs of dementia.
    HOWEVER, if he is expressing his truest and most sincere sentiments and opinions then you can count me as one very disappointed, angry and frustrated individual…Like Peter Finch in the movie “NETWORK”, ‘I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore!’ IF, and I write “IF”, he REALLY believes what he says then someone needs to knock some sense into him, what planet is he on? His words reveal what others have suspected for years, THE HIERARCHY STILL DOES NOT GET IT! repeat after me, THE HIERARCHY STILL DOES NOT GET IT! again,……Imagine, just when you thought that maybe, just maybe the symposium in Rome might herald a new attitude and behavior on the part of the Church, we have an American Cardinal in a country where it is conservatively estimated that the sexual abuse crisis may have cost in excess of $2.2 billion dollars and possibly affected more than 100,000 victims, this prelate proclaims he should NEVER have apologized. Folks he’s got to be smoking the drapes! First we have Cardinal George comparing the LGBT parade in Chicago to the KKK marches of years past, now this? Is there any doubt about the intellectual, emotional and social retardation of our hierarchy? This is incomprehensible for him to make such an ignorant and arrogant statement. Does he really want to take PRIDE in the fact that he claims there were no sexual abuse cases in the Diocese of Bridgeport while he was the ordinary there? Someone needs to tell him, “get thee to a nunnery”. Does any of our hierarchy have the courage, the conviction or the bravery to admonish him for such comments? None of them publicly criticized Cardinal George for his remarks, surely, this is even more blatantly wrong. Do any of our bishops believe what Cardinal Egan has said? If they disagree then do so publicly so the rest of us can acknowledge that we don’t have “a good ole boy” network, that regardless of one’s stature or position, stupidity and insensitivity are unacceptable because of the continued pain and suffering they inflict. Sadly, Archbishop Dolan took the easy path, he deferred comment. Are you kidding me? For God’s sake, just because you’re celibate does not mean you’re castrated! Would someone, anyone in Church leadership, please take a stand against the comments of Cardinal Egan? Last but not least when Cardinal Egan “apologizes” again in the near future for the callousness and senseless remarks in this interview, will anyone really believe him?

  4. Lurkers? Practicing catholics? Do you believe him? Do you believe the rcc hasn’t done anything wrong? I want to know from those sitting in the pews, contributing to the church…is this what you believe too?

    1. I will not comment for the “practicing catholics” but once upon a time I sat in a room with a protestant minister and listened to a pedophile cry crocodile tears about how he was so sorry for having molested my husband. I listened to this same man in court cry and say he was sorry but I never believed him……………you see when it was just me and him after he got comfortable and let his guard down he said that he didn’t really think he did anything wrong that is when I encountered Satan and it scared the hell out of me…….some people appear to be human and compassionate on the exterior but inside they are evil or sick or sociopaths or whatever you want to say…………it’s not just pedophiles that are this way they always have people to coverup for them that are just as sick in denial that is why abuse continues.

  5. To answer the “I wish” and “I want to believe” comments, The statement by the Vatican prosecutor Mons. Charles Sicuna, speaking on the sidelines of the Vatican backed symposium on clerical abuse, says it all.
    Bishops are warned, church law provides clear guidelines that must be followed.
    No wonder Cardinal Egan retracted his apology and it appears everything is back to square one.

  6. I am speechless. We will have to invent a new word to describe this level of arrogance and hypocrisy.
    You can’t make this stuff up.
    The only thing more baffling is that there are still people who believe this kind of institutional pathological lying and still think there is some good left in these men and the wreckage of the church they have led into this darkness.

    1. One can now understand why many clergy “ranaway” and joined another church.
      How can one trust any Canonical process.
      I know of one I will need to apologise to when I get to Heaven, me with my “do it right” mentality.

      1. I think there are many more former clergymen who left the priesthood, but who did not leave the Church. They exited for a variety of reasons but, across the board, they received very poor treatment from their fellow clergymen. The poor treatment is indigenous to the priesthood’s culture. It is unmerciful and cruel. However, it is expected, and everyone obeys, naturally.

    1. Thanks Beth, for the link relating to Bevilauqua and law enforcement/coroners in Montgomery Co.

      If memory serves, there was a lot of criticism of folks on an earlier blog that had pretty much the same take as Montgomery Co officials.

  7. Egan’s comments are a gift.

    Who knows his intentions, but I believe he said what he believes and that he is saying what many Catholic bishops would say if they could. How many? Who knows?

    He has nothing to lose. So he speaks his mind. He also has a legacy to worry about.

    As obnoxious and upsetting as the comments are, they remind me, as if any of us need that, about what we have on our hands.

    As leaders like Lynn and Egan focus on covering their own butts, the truth will come out and it will be impossible for Rome to hold people to the party line.

      1. Martin…today’s NYtimes editorial, ‘His Eminence in Denial” ends with this paragraph, “This month, the Vatican held a summit meeting on the global sex abuse scandal. Officials vowed the that bishops must ultimately be held accountable–a recommendation of the American Review Board, that has gone unneeded. Cardinal Egans feckless rumonations are Exhibit A on the problem of shepherds hiding from their responsibility.”

        In addition there are two citations I posted a couple days ago…one was Egan cleaning up his denial, not very persuasively and the other was a local paper calling him accountable….here’s a third from the NYTimes Opinion segment.

  8. Your probably right haditCath, I did bring to mind Morrie Crocker who suffered terribly at the hands of his brother priests to the point of taking his own life. I was referring to the one or two who requested rescripts of their vows to have their heirs take precedence over religious vows and were refused to preserve the priesthood and inheritance vows of all things, considering their poverty obligations.

    1. Mark,

      It is pervasive. As L. Newington said “I did bring to mind Morrie Crocker who suffered terribly at the hands of his brother priests to the point of taking his own life.”

      Yes, brother priests, as well as bishops (look at the recent infighting within the Vatican) can be brutal to one another. I never believed it until I saw it for myself when I was a seminarian and member of a religious order. There is a lot of very slimy activity taking place within the Church. It something that most laymen will never see.

      I know I have posted this link to Fr. John Minkler before, but his case is so similar to the Morrie Crocker’s story that it’s worth posting again. Fr. John Minkler was my friend, and he was exposing the evil within the Diocese of Albany at the time of his death.

    2. I always bring him to mind when I have the opportunity.
      Another site you may be interested in is: Parliament of NSW.
      Death of Father Maurie Crocker. Adjournament of Condolences.
      Franka Arena MP, also suffered the consequences of addressing abuse, a woman before her time, no doubt pressured to retire not long after her public stand on such issues.

  9. The clerical culture is a perversion, having far reaching effects in terms of the health of the priesthood and the good of the Church (including the good of victims and children).

    In Eugene Cullen Kennedy’s article in the National Catholic Reporter, he notes the “ineffectiveness of the imploding hierarchical model.” In my opinion, eventually, it will necessarily result in clerical culture reform. In the mean time, however, it will not be pretty. The hierarchy will carry on its bizarre, conflicting, incongruous, improper, unintelligible and incoherent show of power. The faithful have a lot more suffering to endure… Proper leadership could minimize the suffering, but Tradition altogether precludes it. Because the hierarchical model is impervious to change, its implosion is now, and its death is imminent.

  10. One of the last references in Eugene Kennedy’s article was a discussion of the Asian Church and the following paragraph caught my attention…in the dissolution story.

    A culture of silence across Asia may be keeping many victims of clergy sex abuse there from coming forward, a top Asian church official told a Vatican-backed conference on Thursday.

    Monsignor Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said Asian deference to church authorities in places like the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines might also have contributed to keeping a lid on reports. He said more and more victims had spoken out in the past five years in the Philippines, but the incidents of priests keeping mistresses still far outpaced the reports of priests preying on children.

    1. Joan, “deference to church authorities…might also have contributed to keeping a lid on {child abuse} reports…”??? Tagle , who got his graduate degree at our Catholic University in DC and was just made archbishop, is part of the sick worldwide hierarchical culture. He also opposes the government’s proposal to make birth control cheaply available as millions of Filipino children are already dying of malnutrition. Sorry for being so blunt. Joan, but these guys are just heartless criminals who survive on the carcasses of the gullible Catholics they interminably con.

      1. Jerry, I wasn’t trying to defend Tagle, my point was the comment noted that the diocese had had fewer abuse reports than reports of the incidents of ” priests keeping mistresses.”

        Asia is a quagmire happening! SNAP at a major Beverly Hills fundraiser last spring, sent out a very prescient letter to donors and one of their major points, was the horrific abuse occurring in countries where the rule of law and the media were inadequate OR the Church had inordinate power…or both!

        Perhaps I was inept in my posting….sorry.

      2. Joan, your posting was fine. I recently commented strongly to (a) John Allen’s NCR article touting Tagle’s talk at last week’s abuse summit PR stunt in Rome and (b) Jamie Manson’s current NCR piece on the horrible plight of Filipinos, so I wanted to make sure C4C bloggers understood completely where Tagle, the archbishop on Manila, really stands. Thanks for raising the issue.

    2. Priests keeping mistreses is nothing new.
      A recent survey states that a percentage of Australian priests are in “long term relationships”.
      Margaret Joughin one time team member of Brokenrites, wrote a compelling article on this subject sometime ago when a bishop described “affairs” as consensual relationships when a philandering clergyman had fathered a child and the mother co-erced into place her newborn up for adoption.
      She concluded by stating; “When ‘ecclesial authorities’ describe these affairs as consenting relationships,they are telling
      us that we must come to accept them as mere human weaknesses and failings of our clergy, rather than the horrible betrayal and duplicity of priest’s [fathers] conducting sexual affairs with parishoners, their spiritual children, and we should be reluctant to tolerate the breaking of the sacred vows and a bishop minimizing the vulnerability of those they come in contact, maliciously use the pain of the people involved to further it’s own agenda.
      The article not on the web but the support groups periodical which can be verified.

      1. I agree there is nothing new ( under the sun) about clergy mistresses, but to have the Archbishop of Manilla, publicly announce that he hears more complaints about clerical mistresses than he does about sexual abuse of minors, in the closing session of an international forum, sponsored by the Vatican….is unusual.

        Meanwhile, the US bishops are very concerned about access to contraception.

  11. the murder of Danny Crouteau…

    does it get any more heartbreaking than that story? And yet, there are thousands.

    Is the story published in book form?

    And the diocese and fellow priests sit on their bloody hands.

    They’ll burn for this.

  12. Joan, well he should be at the head of the line to do something about it.
    The diocese much be supporting a hell of a lot of clergy’s children if unless, they’re using contaception.
    What subservience, using a women’s body as a means to serve an end: preserving the serfs of the church.

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