John Paul II clone Cardinal Egan covered-up priests' sexual abuse
By Eizabeth Hamilton Courant Staff
February 23, 2009
As Cardinal Edward Egan prepares to the exit the New York Archdiocese, his critics are voicing their hope that the prelate will be held accountable for what they believe is his refusal to honestly report abuse cases there.
The group Bishop Accountability.org, which describes itself as the world's largest independent source of information on the clergy sexual abuse crisis, says Egan under-reported the number of accused priests in the New York diocese in 2004 when the U.S. bishops were asked to release the information.
At that time, Egan reported that 49 priests had been accused of abuse from 1950 to 2002, which amounted to 1.3 percent of the diocesan priests. In Boston and Los Angeles, by comparison, the percentages were higher, at 7 percent and 4.9 percent respectively.
"New York must have one of the longest lists of unregistered sex offenders in the country," said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the organization. "Egan should be held accountable for that."
Cardinal Edward Egan through the years Photos Doyle said her organization, and victims' rights groups, will also be closely watching the outcome of the Connecticut court case in which the Courant and several other daily newspapers have sought the release of 12,000 pages of documents from sealed lawsuits against the Bridgeport Diocese.
Egan, who served as bishop of the Bridgeport diocese from 1988 to 2000, was a defendant in some of the lawsuits and fought them aggressively from 1993 until they were settled in March, 2001.
The case to unseal the documents stalled in 2006, when the Diocese of Bridgeport appealed a Superior Court judge's ruling to unseal the secret files. The files contain documents pertaining to allegations of abuse by as many as 23 priests. The case was then transferred to the state Supreme Court.