Review Board Says Egan Unaccommodating

Associated Press, carried in Hartford Courant [Hartford CT]
January 15, 2003

NEW YORK -- Members of a national review board charged with studying sexual abuse in the Catholic church say New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan has not fully accommodated their mission.

Egan and his auxiliary bishops have said they won't celebrate Mass with the group this week and have refused to invite them to a dinner for a Catholic fraternal organization, several members of the National Review Board told The New York Times in Wednesday's editions.

And Egan also disapproved of a speaking engagement for Kathleen McChesney, the executive director of the bishops' new Office for Child and Youth Protection, at St. Ignatius Loyola, causing her to postpone the event.

"We certainly mean no disrespect to him, but we have a job to do and we're going to do it, and we want and expect his full cooperation," board member Robert Bennett told the Times. "There's just no reason why he should not be working in a cooperative spirit with the board."

The 13-member board of volunteer lay people was created last June at a meeting of American bishops in Dallas. The group has been charged with investigating the priest sex abuse scandal and is meeting with clergymen across the country to devise solutions.

A spokesman for the New York archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling, said Egan planned to meet with the board in Washington, D.C., later this month and was unable to say Mass for the group on Sunday because of a scheduling conflict.

He said the cardinal had prohibited the board members from attending a dinner Friday for the Knights of Malta for fear the event would be an "outside distraction" for the group.

Documents have shown that, as bishop of the Bridgeport diocese, Egan allowed abusive priests to remain in ministry, failed to report abuse claims to the authorities, and tended to dismiss accusers even when patterns of abuse allegations were evident.


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