No matter how you dice this it is troubling. When confronted with a child running into traffic and about to be hit by a vehicle would then Bishop Egan have contemplated his navel before acting? Why is the penis of a pedophile priest not problematic for the Catholic Church? The politics of the Catholic Church infuriates thinking people, and leaves us all shaking our heads.
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,” Bishop Egan said. “I kept working on it until I resolved the decision.”
The exchange is one of hundreds recorded in a vast trove of documents the Diocese of Bridgeport made public on Tuesday after battling in court for seven years to keep them sealed. The archive — more than 12,000 pages of memos, church records and testimony — was gathered for 23 lawsuits, alleging sexual abuse of children by seven priests, that the diocese settled in 2002.
At the heart of it lies the bishop’s testimony, in two wide-ranging depositions from 1997 and 1999. Punctuated by legal parsing and frequent exasperation on both sides, transcripts of the videotaped sessions show the man who would become one of the church’s most prominent American leaders — the archbishop of New York, and a cardinal — as he navigated a budding scandal that still threatens the church’s finances and reputation.