New York Cardinal Accused of Snubbing Bishops' Lay Review Board

Catholic News
Downloaded January 17, 2003

New York NY - Members of the national review board overseeing US church efforts to eliminate priest sex abuse are surprised and angry after what appears to be a series of high-handed directives from New York Cardinal Edward Egan.

"I'm taking this personally," board member Pamela Hayes, a former prosecutor for corruption in New York City, told the National Catholic Reporter. "He's given us the distinct impression he's not going to deal with a board that's been set up by the US bishops."

Late last month an archdiocesan spokesman informed the board that the cardinal would not be available to meet with them during their meeting in New York City taking place yesterday and today. He declined to celebrate Mass for them as they had requested, nor would any of his auxiliary bishops be available for Mass.

Earlier in the month Egan told the board, through another intermediary, that only those on the board who belonged to the Knights of Malta should attend the knights' gala dinner tonight, although all board members had been already invited. Furthermore, he did not want Kathleen McChesney, director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection (the investigative arm of the board), to come to New York to speak about her work at the invitation of a local parish.

Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the New York archdiocese, told the National Catholic Reporter, "The cardinal will be happy to travel to Washington DC, at any time to meet with the board and will bring any information or documents they wish. Their [the board's] offices are in Washington and he will meet with them in Washington."

He said that Egan thinks "the work of the board is important".

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