Bridgeport Diocese releases abuse documents

Rory Eastburg | Secret Courts | Quicklink | December 2, 2009

The Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., released thousands of pages of documents related to sex abuse lawsuits Tuesday after losing a seven-year fight to keep them secret, The Hartford Courant reports.

The documents include two depositions of Cardinal Edward Egan, then Bishop of Bridgeport and later Archbishop of New York. In the depositions, Egan called the abuse “a unique and unexpected occurrence” and said “it’s marvelous when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have ever been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything.”

Also released Tuesday was a deposition of Egan’s predecessor, Bishop Walter Curtis. The Courant reports that Curtis “said he viewed pedophilia as ‘an occasional thing’ and not a serious psychological problem, and indicated that he was more concerned with weeding out potential gays among clergy applicants.”

Four newspapers — The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hartford Courant, and The Boston Globe — have been fighting for access to the thousands of pages of sealed documents since 2002. The U.S. Supreme Court in November denied the diocese’s final effort to block the records’ release.