Cardinal Egan: Ten Years After

Editor's note: As the first trial in the Hartford Catholic priest sex abuse scandal is underway (as reported in the Hartford Courant) and new testimony comes to light in how the Hartford archdiocese handled the issue, writer Tom Connor was able to interview former Bridgeport bishop and New York City cardinal Edward Egan, who held a high position within the Catholic church when the abuses were alleged to have happened in the Bridgeport dioceses.

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 rev...

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