On the news today in NYC they're running Cardinal Egan's response to the anonymous letter from a group of priests in the Archdiocese - widely reported last week - that accused Egan of being arrogant, remote, removed and lacking in pastoral interest. The letter asked for a polling of priests, by secret ballot, giving Egan a vote of no confidence for his performance as bishop. It also asked the Vatican to accept his retirement next year when he turns 75.
Egan's spinmeisters are now out 'unmasking' this critics as 'priests guilty of abuse' who are 'unwilling to take responsibility for their acts.' In effect, he uses the church's sex scandal as a shield and hides behind the allegation of abuse - and cloaks himself in the mantle of a reformer wrongly 'savaged' for his tough stand on abuse. A mantle he has not earned. As you might expect, he offers no evidence for his claim that his critics are sex abusers.
If ever there was nonsense on stilts, here it is.
Egan is known to be a pompous elitist, more interested in the Chancery wine cellar's collection of chardonay than in the spiritual well being of either his priests or 'flock.'
The Cardinal has done little to address the abuse problem, either in NY, or in his former diocese of Bridgeport. Indeed, rather than being part of the solution, he's part of the problem. There are credible reports that the cardinal himself may be involved in an alternative life style - if true, he would not be the first American cardinal to be so involved. Certainly some in his innermost circle are, all while outwardly condemning homosexuals who seek more of an open relationship with the Church!
Now Egan is using the classic tactic of smearing his critics - who, being priests of his diocese, need to remain anonymous to avoid his well-known vindictiveness. He should answer the substance of the criticism - rather than seeking to divert attention away from himself and his failures - cynically using the sex abuse scandal as defensive ploy.
Egan's critics ask for a vote of no-confidence by secret ballot - they should get it, though its impact would be of little value in the top-down hierarchical, self-perpetuating oligarchy that purports to lead the Church.
I, for one, know how I would vote!