... clearly trying to find a judicious, objective-sounding way of telling us that Cardinal Egan is a lying, evil SOB - No More Mr Nice Blog
Sean Brady, leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, has used the Eucharistic Conference to issue an apology to the many victims raped by Church officials. Noticeably he did not explain away the culpability for child abuse with reference alone to individuals but specifically mentioned the institution of the Church, attenuating the bad apple theory.
But how seriously will society take this public breast beating? Church apologies for the reign of rape the cartel subjected countless children to must be treated with a large dose of scepticism. Rather than being a heartfelt expression of contrition it seems apologies may well be nothing other than a holding operation with which to weather the storm and get through. Once anchored in a safe port reverting to form is to be expected.
In the spring of 2002 a moral tempest was unleashed that lashed its way from the American East Coast to the West, blowing away the camouflage that concealed the scenes of crimes where Catholic clerics had plied their rape trade. Bridgeport was one stone tossed over forcing the numerous beetles in black to scuttle in a bid to escape public exposure. In one particularly vile case there, a priest explained to one of his victims that oral sex was just another way of receiving Holy Communion, inviting a comparison with the Jewish practice of Metzitzah B’Peh. This was serial rapist Lawrence Brett who was sent on a tour of eight parishes and a family of ten between Bridgeport and California as part of Church policy of recycling child molesting clerics.
At the time of the first trials in Bridgeport there were over 1000 lawsuits pending against priests throughout the United States. The issue could not be hidden behind some facade of prayer and praise the lord sessions no matter how well stage managed.
On the back foot Cardinal Edward Egan, then Archbishop of New York, gazed upward to heaven, and proffered his upturned oily palms and apologised for the behaviour of the Catholic Church. His apology was addressed to the dioceses of Bridgeport where he had served as bishop up until 2000 and where at the time 23 lawsuits were underway against seven diocesan priests. Truly, truly Egan said unto them::
If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry ... I will do everything in my power to ensure, as much as is humanly possible, that such abuse by clergy will never happen again ... You should expect nothing less of me, and the other leaders of our church.
Egan at the time was not taken by everyone at face value. Suspicions were expressed that the apology was merely an exercise in damage limitation. After all, Egan took the helm directly from the man in charge throughout the period covered by accusations, from the early 1960s to the mid 1980s when priests on a rape rampage molested numerous children. It was widely believed that Egan was less than forthcoming about what went on under the reign of Walter Curtis described by Egan as ‘a wonderful, wonderful, dear gentleman.’ Wonderful Walter who happened to do Sweet FA about the countless rapists he had under his command other than to slap their hindquarters and say 'ride on.'
Through it all, the diocese ... officially remained remarkably indifferent to the alleged victims of the crimes ... Unlike other dioceses around the country Bridgeport has acknowledged little and apologised for nothing. Beginning with the first lawsuit filed in 1993, dioscean officials have delayed testimony, had actions sealed, defied court orders, concealed evidence and stonewalled proceedings through restraining orders and other legal devices.
Three years prior to his 2002 apology a Connecticut Magazine investigated the complaints against Bridgeport priests. Egan refused to speak to it and his demeanour was later reported by the magazine was anything but contrite. In Gods and Monsters:
Egan was portrayed as a wily, coldly-calculating defender of the Church and abusive priests, more corporate lawyer than spiritual guardian. The article revealed that he had let accused priests continue to work in local parishes, authorized payments to victims in exchange for silence agreements, and lied about those payments during a deposition.
Egan was yet another canon law chancer with a doctorate in club house rules which made him immune, so he thought, to public scrutiny. Subsequently, he reversed the apology he had made a decade earlier: ‘First of all, I should never have said that. I did say if we did anything wrong, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we did anything wrong.’
They didn’t do anything wrong. Nothing your honour. It was the frog’s fault.