Sexual abuse scandal in Bridgeport diocese

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The sexual abuse scandal in Bridgeport Diocese is a significant episode in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States.

Supreme Court of Connecticut decision[edit]

In May 2009, a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered the release of thousands of legal documents from lawsuits filed against priests accused of sexually abusing children (George L. Rosado et al. v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation et al., (SC 17807).[1]

Archbishop Egan's legacy[edit]

Media reports have implied that investigations into the Bridgeport affairs might have a negative impact on archbishop Edward Egan's overall legacy as former pastor of the diocese.[2]

In April 2002, in a letter read out at Mass, Cardinal Egan apologized saying,"If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry."[3] Ten years later, in February 2012, the retired cardinal retracted his apology. In an interview with Connecticut magazine he said, I never should have said that,” and, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.” He repeatedly denied any sexual abuse happened while he was leading Bridgeport's Diocese.[4][5]

US Supreme Court decision[edit]

On October 5, 2009, the United States Supreme Court rejected a request by the diocese to stay the Connecticut Supreme Court decision.[6] On Nov. 2, 2009 the United States Supreme Court decided [7] not to grant a writ of certiorari.[8]

Subsequent Events[edit]

Bishop William E. Lori has opposed legislation by State Representative Michael P. Lawlor and State Senator Andrew J. McDonald that would remove control of the diocese from the bishop and place it into the hands of laymen. The legislation had been written with the help of liberal Catholics, including Connecticut attorney Thomas Gallagher, a contributor to the group Voice of the Faithful.[9]

November 2009 hearings[edit]

The Connecticut Superior Court held hearings in November 2009 on procedures and privacy safeguards. The court ordered that the documents be released on Dec. 1, 2009, in CD form, to be given to the four newspapers—the Hartford Courant, the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post—that had originally filed the lawsuit seeking to force the diocese to open the records to public inspection.[10] The diocese has provided background and a statement on the suit and its status.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PDF document
  2. ^ Bridgeport sex-abuse files should be released, court rules
  3. ^ SCANDAL IN THE CHURCH: THE NEW YORK CARDINAL; Egan Says He May Have Mishandled Sex Abuse Cases, By Dean E Murphy, New York Times, April 21, 2002
  4. ^ Cardinal Egan Criticized for Retracting Apology on Sexual Abuse CrisisBy Andy Newman, New York Times 7 February 2012
  5. ^ Cardinal Egan: Ten Years After, by Tom Connor, Connecticut Magazine, February 2012
  6. ^ Bridgeport Diocese Loses Bid to Keep Sex-Abuse Records Sealed
  7. ^ Press Release: Bridgeport Diocese Responds To U.S. Supreme Court Statement
  8. ^ Court still needs to weigh final angle of Bridgeport documents case
  9. ^ Religious Freedom Under Attack in Connecticut
  10. ^ Judge sets Dec. 1 for release of diocesan sex-abuse records
  11. ^ Statement of the Diocese of Bridgeport

External links[edit]