The Curtis File

Hartford Courant
March 17, 2002,1,1275337.story?coll=hc-headlines-home

[See also Egan Protected Abusive Priests, the main article of this feature, with links to related articles.]

Before Bishop Edward M. Egan took over the Bridgeport diocese in 1988, Bishop Walter Curtis ran it for 27 years. Excerpts from Curtis' depositions, which were sealed by the court:

On transferring priests:

Q: What was the purpose, Bishop, of the reassigning to a different parish?

Curtis: Well, I presume it was to allow him to have a fresh start.

Q: All right, when he was assigned to a different parish, would anyone be advised of the problem which he had previously had?

Curtis: No.

Q: Were there any priests during the time that you were bishop that were transferred to a different diocese because they were found to be guilty, if you will, of pedophilic conduct in the Diocese of Bridgeport?

Curtis: Yes.

On pedophilia:

Q: Did you understand that to be a temporary condition or a disease, or what was your understanding of it when you were bishop of Bridgeport?

Curtis: I don't think I saw this is as a permanent condition. It was a - more incidental.

Q: More incidental. And what do you mean by incidental, if I may ask? Incidental to what?

Curtis: Well, it would happen on occasion. It wasn't a sort of a, it wasn't - I'm not sure how to state it.

Q: In other words, it wasn't a continual thing. It was an occasional thing?

Curtis: Yes. Yes.

On secrecy:

Q: You had mentioned before that there were times that you would take a complaint in regard to a priest and take it out of the file. I think you said because it was old, or -

Curtis: Out of the secret file.

Q: Out of the secret file, OK, and where would you put that when you took it out?

Curtis: I would destroy it.

Q: You'd destroy it.

Curtis: Yeah.

Q: And what was - give me an example of what would be the reason you would do that.

Curtis: Well, it would be - it would be an antiquated issue, happened so long before, there was no point in preserving it any longer.


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