Cardinal Egan's Shamelessness

by Michael Sean Winters

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The release of documents, under court order, from the Diocese of Bridgeport makes one literally sick to one’s stomach. The moral callousness displayed by then-Bishop Egan is so at odds with even the most basic standards of human, let alone Christian, decency, that everyone who reads them is understandably upset.

Well, almost everyone. Remember that while these documents are being seen by the public for the first time, they have been available to church officials all along. Why was Egan not removed from office? I know the Bible says, “You are a priest forever” but it doesn’t say anything about remaining as the cardinal-archbishop of New York when there is such bald evidence of moral turpitude.

I am not a survivor of sex abuse, so I cannot imagine the pain caused to them by these latest revelations. I am angry, but my anger is not their anger I am sure. I am not a priest, so I cannot imagine what they feel, they who have received the hostile and suspicious looks from people who once looked at them with trust and admiration. How do the clergy feel when they read this account of episcopal malfeasance that led to the entire priest corps being viewed with suspicion so that Egan’s career would not contain any hint of a stain?

Perhaps the most damning thing about Cardinal Egan is something that has not been said in the past couple of days since the transcripts were released. No one has said they were surprised.

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