Victims want NY & CT prelates to denounce colleague
In a new, rare and stunning interview, former NYC Archbishop Edward Egan made shocking statements about the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.
We urge US Catholic officials – especially in New York and Connecticut – to publicly rebuke Egan for these shockingly callous comments that will no doubt heap more pain onto millions of victims and Catholics who are still suffering because they have been assaulted by child molesting clerics or betrayed by corrupt church officials. We especially urge Egan’s successors, Archbishop Tim Dolan of New York and Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, to clearly denounce Egan. Ignoring callousness or mouthing vague platitudes aren’t enough. At an absolute bare minimum, Catholics need and deserve explicit, public and repeated condemnations of Egan by his brother bishops.
Among other things, 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.
- I do think it’s time to get off this subject.
- I don’t think I should be upset about that, or you should be, or anybody else.
- I never had one of these sex abuse cases, either in Bridgeport or here (New York). And I believe that the cases I had were each handled just exactly as they should have been.
- I did exactly what we were told to do. And as a result, not one of them (the accused priests) did a thing out of line.
- I’m not the slightest bit surprised that, of course, the scandal was going to be fun in the news.
- If you have another bishop in the United States who has the record I have, I’d be happy to know who he is.
(See full interview, in Connecticut Magazine, here: http://www.connecticutmag.com/Connecticut-Magazine/Web-Exclusive-Content/February-2012/Egan-Ten-Years-After/)
Most bishops have a dreadfully skewed and self-serving view of the crisis. But most work very hard to conceal it. Most are carefully coached by top-notch public relations professionals to say all the right things publicly (while privately, they deal with wounded victims and abusive clerics in largely the same ways they always have).
Egan, however, is obviously unrepentant, self-absorbed and painfully dismissive of the abject suffering of tens of thousands of deeply wounded men, women and children who have been sexually violated by priests, nuns, bishops, brothers, seminarians and other Catholic officials. We can’t help but believe that many other prelates feel exactly as he does but are shrewd enough to avoid saying so outside of clerical circles.
Dolan, Lori and others must show – by their actions – that they are what they will claim: different from Egan. They can start by posting on their websites the names, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric in their dioceses (like 25 US bishops have done).
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.