For immediate release: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Two more groups want Cardinal disinvited
Controversial prelate to preside at special mass
Concerned Catholics feel that "sends the wrong message"
"It encourages future cover ups & hurts victims," they say
Two more organizations are urging New York Archbishop Tim Dolan to stop his predecessor from presiding this weekend at a special mass 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. Long secret church records show that Egan hid clergy sex crimes during his long tenure in the Bridgeport diocese and he is accused of doing the same in the New York archdiocese.
Because of that, leaders of the National Survivor Advocate Coalition and the Bridgeport chapter of Voice of the Faithful want Cardinal Timothy Dolan to oust Egan from the upcoming event. Leaders of a victims group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, made the same request yesterday.
“This sends the wrong message and hurts already suffering victims and betrayed Catholics,” said Jamie Dance (firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-801-9532) who heads the Bridgeport chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF). “It encourages future cover ups by saying ‘no matter how much you endanger children you can still be rewarded.”
"Retired Cardinals should have a lot of time to think. We think Cardinal Egan should think about what he can do to end the crisis not add to it,” said Kristine Ward (email@example.com, 937 272 0308), who chairs the National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC). “How about Cardinal Dolan invite Archbishop Diarmuid Martin from Dublin to say this Mass? At least, he's tried to cast out the snakes of sexual abuse instead of whitewash it. It would be a far better St. Patrick's Day message for these young people than honoring Egan would. "
In 2009, the New York Times reported that “In one case, then-Bishop Egan kept an accused abuser working for five years after receiving a warning and did not suspend him until after a lawsuit was filed. In another, the diocese did not report potential allegations of statutory rape of a teenager impregnated by a priest.”
In 2002, the Hartford Courant reported that “Secret court documents reveal that New York Cardinal Edward Egan, while serving as bishop of the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese, allowed several priests facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse to continue working for years. Egan failed to investigate aggressively some abuse allegations, did not refer complaints to criminal authorities and, during closing testimony in 1999, suggested that a dozen people who made complaints of rape, molestation and beatings against the same priest may all have been lying, the documents show.”
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.”
The event will be at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue at 84th Street (212-288-3588,www.stignatiusloyola.org).
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)