By Michael Brendan Dougherty

St. John Chrysostom, once said "The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops."

Here's proof that he was right.

In an interview this week with Connecticut Magazine, Cardinal Edward Egan, withdrew his 2002 apology for the Church's handling of the sex-abuse scandal, which was once read in all New York parishes.

A decade after that letter, the former archbishop of New York, and former bishop of Bridgeport, now describes the handling of the priest-abuse crisis under his watch as “incredibly good.” He said of the letter, "I never should have said that,” and added, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

“I never had one of these sex abuse cases.” he said, before adding pompously, “If you have another bishop in the United States who has the record I have, I’d be happy to know who he is.” He also claimed that the Church had no obligation to report abuse to the civil authorities.

These are lies, strutting around with pride.

The Church is required to report abuse, according to laws on the books since the 1970s.

Bishop Egan ran a diocese that was notoriously dangerous for children. Contrary to his claim, during his twelve-year enthronement at Bridgeport, Egan repeatedly failed to investigate priests where there were obvious signs of abuse, according to The Hartford Courant. His diocese had to settle the cases and awarded victims some $12-15 million in damages.

Here is just one incredible case of negligence. According to the Hartford Courant, in 1990, Egan received a memo about "a developing pattern of accusations” that Rev. Charles Carr of Norwalk had fondled young boys. Egan kept Carr working for another five years, only suspending him after a lawsuit was filed, and then in 1999 making him a chaplain at Danbury's hospital.

How about another? The Connecticut post also reported that early in his reign, dozens of people came forward to accuse Rev. Raymond Pcolka of Greenwich of sexual abuse and violence against children. Egan claimed that the accusers were never "proved" to be telling the truth. Well, Egan never even bothered to interview them and kept Pcolka in ministry.

And, speaking as a Catholic, who lived in the New York Archdiocese under Cardinal Egan's reign, I can say Egan did punish some priests. But not child-abusers. He swiftly punished and evicted those Catholic priests that said the Traditional Latin Mass (later liberalized by Pope Benedict XVI), if he thought they didn't pay him sufficient deference.

In short: Egan coddled child-abusers, and persecuted decent priests during his ignominious reign as a Prince of the Church. His entire interview reeks of a narcissism and self-regard that is so palpable it makes your eyes water.

Again, speaking as a Catholic, God is merciful with those who repent and do penance.

It is time for Egan to repent before his victims and before God.

Otherwise, he'll end up as pavement.


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