In 2002, at the height of the outcry over the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests, the Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan, issued a letter to be read at Mass. In it, he offered an apology about the church’s handling of sex-abuse cases in New York and in Bridgeport, Conn., where he was previously posted.
Now, 10 years later and in retirement, Cardinal Egan has taken back his apology.
In a interview with Connecticut magazine published on the magazine’s Web site last week, a surprisingly frank Cardinal Egan said of the apology, “I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”
He said many more things in the interview, some of them seemingly at odds with the facts. He repeatedly denied that any sex abuse had occurred on his watch in Bridgeport. He said that even now, the church in Connecticut had no obligation to report sexual abuse accusations to the authorities. (A law on the books since the 1970s says otherwise.) And he described the Bridgeport diocese’s handling of sex-abuse cases as “incredibly good.” ...
A group representing victims of clergy abuse is being targeted with subpoenas seeking two decades of emails, including possibly correspondence with lawyers.
The Roman Catholic Church has obtained five subpoenas in Kansas City and St. Louis for records held by the group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the New York Times reports. One subpoena seeks documents regarding the lawyer for four plaintiffs suing a priest based on recovered memories, as well as documents mentioning the priest and repressed memories. The aim is to learn whether the lawyer violated a gag order. The other subpoena also seeks repressed memory information.
Yeshiva law professor and victims advocate Marci Hamilton told the Times that the subpoenas are part of a campaign to silence SNAP. William Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, viewed the action as part of a growing consensus by bishops “that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”
A spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops denied, however, that there was any national strategy to get more aggressive, the story says.