Roughly 90 prelates - too old to vote in the conclave - will take part in the General Congregation of Cardinals meetings. SNAP believes that a number of them (Sodano, Connell, Egan, Castrillón Hoyos, Law, McCarrick, and others) are guilty of - or credibly accused of - protecting child molesting clerics. Their peers should push them to stay home, or they should do so voluntarily, the group feels, for the sake of the church and to avoid heaping more pain on wounded victims and betrayed Catholics.

Sodano, Angelo
In 2010, on Easter Sunday 2010, as hundreds of brave victims across Europe were breaking their silence and exposing predator priests and complicit bishops, Sodano called the growing crisis “petty gossip.” He also repeatedly protected the late, now-disgraced Fr. Marciel Maciel-Degollado, founder and leader of the Legion of Christ, delaying an investigation into Maciel’s heinous sexual crimes and abuses for years and disingenuously “clearing” Maciel while the probe was actually still in process.

Egan, Edward M.
Egan, while serving as bishop of the Bridgeport Diocese, allowed several priests facing multiple accusations of sexual abuse to continue working for years - including one who admitted biting a teenager during oral sex. Egan failed to investigate aggressively some abuse allegations, did not refer complaints to criminal authorities and, during closed testimony in 1999, suggested that a dozen people who made complaints of rape, molestation and beatings against the same priest may have all been lying, the documents show." 

Last year in Connecticut Magazine, Egan claimed “I never had one of these sex abuse cases, either in Bridgeport or here (New York). Not one,” and “I don’t think we did anything wrong” and “I’m very proud of how this thing was handled” and “I believe the sex abuse thing was incredibly good,” and “There really wasn’t much hidden” and “I do think it’s time to get off this subject” and “I don’t think I should be upset about that, or you should be, or anybody else” and “I believe that the cases I had were each handled just exactly as they should have been” and “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” and “I’m not the slightest bit surprised that, of course, the scandal was going to be fun in the news” and “If you have another bishop in the US who has the record I have, I’d be happy to know who he is.”

While in Bridgeport, Egan tried to evade responsibility for child molesting clerics by claiming, in court, that his priests didn’t really work for him but were instead “independent contractors.”

Hoyos, Castrillion
“Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. . . . has routinely defended the church's practice of not reporting abuse to police. At the height of the Vatican's sex abuse scandal last year, Castrillon Hoyos told a Colombian radio station that no one should be forced to report abuse.” (according to Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press last year)
“In 2002, Rodriguez set off a tempest in the United States by comparing media criticism of the Catholic Church in light of the sex abuse scandals to persecutions under the Roman emperors Nero and Diocletian, as well as Hitler and Stalin. He suggested that the American media was trying to distract attention from the Israel/Palestinian conflict, hinting that it reflected the influence of the Jewish lobby.” (according to John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter this week)

McCarrick Theodore E.
McCarrick fought hard – and successfully – against legislation to reform archaic secular child safety laws and publicly blamed much of the abuse and cover up scandal on the “loose atmosphere of the 1960s.” Even after becoming aware of credible child sex abuse allegations, McCarrick transferred Fr. Aaron Joseph Cote to Rhode Island while keeping those allegations secret. Cote later abused at least two more young boys.

Connell, Desmond
Citing the church’s doctrine of “mental reservation,” Connell explained deceptive public comments he made about abuse cases to a government officials, saying “There may be circumstances in which you can use an ambiguous expression realising that the person who you are talking to will accept an untrue version of whatever it may be. . . (It) is, in a sense, a way of answering without lying.”

Law, Bernard F.
For decades, Law ignored, minimized, hid and enabled horrific crimes against children by paying hush money to victims, using hardball legal tactics, and deceiving parishioners and the public. Even after resigning in Boston, he was sent to the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism where he gained more power, in many respects, than ever (sitting on six or seven crucial dicasteries that exercised influence across the globe).

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