FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2010
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH ZWILLING, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
The editorial in the New York Times of March 25, 2010, regarding Edward Cardinal Egan needs to be corrected immediately. In his twenty-one years as Bishop of Bridgeport and Archbishop of New York, there was no known incident of the abuse of minors by priests in the Cardinal’s care. The case that is described in the report to which the Times editorial refers has to do with events before the Cardinal’s tenure and was correctly handled by the Cardinal and his collaborators. During the Cardinal’s tenure in Bridgeport, despite careful questioning by diocesan staff and counsel and by professionals in the most highly-esteemed psychiatric institution in the nation, it was never proved that the priest in question had abused minors. Nonetheless, the Cardinal withdrew the priest’s authorization to exercise his priesthood and directed him to reside in a former seminary. When after four years the former seminary residence was no longer available, the priest was re-directed to live in a convent of religious women while acting as assistant-chaplain in a nursing-home. It is reported that some years after the Cardinal left Bridgeport, new information about the priest’s conduct emerged, and he was dismissed from the priesthood. During Cardinal Egan’s tenure, however, the case was handled both carefully and appropriately.
In December 2009 the Cardinal’s proper handling of alleged incidents of the abuse of minors by priests was detailed in the two attached statements of the Diocese of Bridgeport and the Archdiocese of New York released to the media and published in the December 3, 2009 edition of Catholic New York.