For immediate release: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Retired Cardinal to preside at special mass
Victims want him ousted from upcoming event
He hid child sex crimes but denies all wrongdoing
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging New York's top Catholic official to stop his predecessor from saying a special mass this weekend featuring children's choirs.
This Saturday, retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan is to preside over a children's choir mass featuring 200 youngsters at St. Ignatius Loyola parish in Manhattan. Egan has been widely criticized for allegedly hiding clergy sex crimes during his long tenure in the Bridgeport diocese and the New York archdiocese.
Because of that, and because Egan continues to deny any wrongdoing, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, want Cardinal Timothy Dolan to oust Egan from the upcoming event.
As recently as 2012, discussing the abuse and cover up crisis, Egan said “I don’t think we did anything wrong,” “I’m very proud of how this thing was handled,” “I believe the sex abuse thing was incredibly good,” “There really wasn’t much . . . hidden” and “I do think it’s time to get off this subject.”
“This isn't just a slap in the face to suffering victims and betrayed Catholics,” said Mary Caplan of Manhattan, SNAP's New York director. “It's rubbing salt into their wounds and telling other Catholic officials that 'no matter how much you endanger kids and protect predators, your Catholic colleagues will always honor you.'”
“Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Jesuits at this parish are smart men. They must know this is a very hurtful move,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP's director. “Dolan should make Egan stay home and insist that no other priest in the archdiocese gives Egan – or others who have covered up clergy child sexual crimes - any prominent role in church functions, least of all at an event featuring children.”
The event will be at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue at 84th Street (212-288-3588, www.stignatiusloyola.org). It's a parish run by the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order that SNAP says is “one of the worst” when it comes to the safety of kids and the healing of victims.
“Though it was short-lived and largely unenforced, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez at least had the decency to forbid his disgraced predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, from doing public ministry,” said Clohessy. “New York archdiocese 's current top official Cardinal Timothy Dolan has as of yet shown no such decent judgment."
Here is the exact wording and website link from last Sunday's parish bulletin:
Welcome Cardinal Egan! On Saturday, March 15th, the St. Ignatius Loyola Children’s Choir will be hosting the Pueri Cantores Children’s Choir Festival for 200+ choristers from the Tri-state area. The day’s festivities will culminate in singing at the 5:30 PM Mass. Edward Cardinal Egan will preside. The prelude, featuring participating choirs, begins at 5:00 PM.
The St. Ignatius pastor is Father George Witt (firstname.lastname@example.org). The associate pastors are Fr. William Bergen (email@example.com), Fr. Thomas Feely (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Fr. Ugo Nacciarone (email@example.com)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)