January 12, 2005

Cardinal's deposition in sex abuse case closely watched


Associated Press Writer

January 12, 2005, 3:48 PM EST

STAMFORD, Conn. -- New York Cardinal Edward Egan typically answers to the pope, but will soon face questions from a lawyer who says the prominent prelate ignored disturbing psychological reports on a priest later accused of molesting an altar boy.

Egan's deposition on Jan. 27 in a civil lawsuit is a groundbreaking development in the sex scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church, activists say. Egan, facing his first deposition as a cardinal, joins the other two major cardinals in Boston and Los Angeles as he faces questions under oath for his handling of priest abuse cases.

Egan has long been criticized for his handling of abuse allegations when he was bishop of the Bridgeport diocese. The cases led to multimillion dollar settlements, including one reached just as Egan was promoted to cardinal.

"It's long overdue," said Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who has represented church abuse victims around the country. "It is something that has been a secret culture for decades and centuries. It really is a peek inside that."

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2005 03:26 PM