Southern Religion

A disturbing new view of victims being sacrificed to abusive priests

Documents released Tuesday by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport (CT) for sexual abuse lawsuits against priests were revealing. The Hartford Courant

In 448 pages of depositions that [Cardinal Edward] Egan was forced to give as part of 23 lawsuits against seven priests that eventually were settled, the Bishop showed little compassion for the alleged victims and instead argued with attorney’s that only a “remarkably small number” of priests have ever been accused of wrongdoing.

For example:

At one point, Egan said he wasn’t interested in allegations — only “realities.” He added that “very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything” against a priest.

For example, regarding a dozen people who made complaints of sexual abuse and violence against Pcolka, of Greenwich, Egan said, “the 12 have never been proved to be telling the truth.”

Egan also acknowledges that he never attempted to seriously investigate the truth of such allegations — accusers were not interviewed, witnesses were not sought, and no attempt was made to learn of other possible victims.

The New York Times in its summary reveals Eagan to be heartlessly bureaucratic:

Then the lawyer sprang his big question: You could have prevented someone from hurting people and you decided not to. Why?

The witness was Edward M. Egan, then the Roman Catholic bishop of Bridgeport, Conn. The question was about a priest who had been accused of sexually molesting children.

“I didn’t make a decision one way or the other,” said Bishop Egan, whom the lawyer suggested had failed to act quickly against the cleric. “I kept working on it until I resolved the decision.”

The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and the Hartford Courant fought “for eight years to get the documents unsealed.” They include more than 12,000 pages from 23 lawsuits against the seven priests.

In attempt to minimize the documents’ impact, diocese said in a statement that “this is very old news” because so much had been leaked to the press and published years ago. When in fact reading the summaries is enlightening in ways that make clear why the Catholic Church fought so hard for so long in an attempt to prevent their release.


December 4, 2009 - Posted by | Crime, Religion

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