Cardinal Egan’s Non-Apology Apology


John McQuaid, Contributor

Cardinal Edward Egan says he didn’t really mean it when he apologized a decade ago, as Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., for sexual abuse committed by priests in his diocese, and the media is taking note.

But actually, that’s not really true. Egan, the retired Archbishop of New York, sitting so high in the saddle of his high horse that he must be feeling a bit light-headed, was not retracting an earlier apology. He was clarifying that it was never an apology at all. Rather, it was a non-apology apology: a bit of rhetorical legerdemain designed to appease critics while conceding nothing.

“CT Magazine: In 2002, you wrote a letter to parishioners in which you said, “If in hindsight we discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry.”

EGAN: First of all, I should never have said that. I did say if we did anything wrong, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we did anything wrong. But I hate to go back over this. I think there’s more to life than that one issue, especially when I had no cases.

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