Are you there, Cardinal Egan? It’s me, reality.
In response to “Retired Cardinal Edward Egan Faces Criticism For Taking Back Abuse Apology,” let me offer a coupla pointers:
1. Nothing that can be called “the sex abuse thing” is ever good. Not even a tiny bit good, much less “incredibly.” Not even if it cures polio, inaugurates a golden age of peace and flying cars, or brings Bambi’s mother back to life. Sex abuse = Bad.
2. There are no takesy-backsies on apologies. If you screw up (and you did), and are forced to apologize (and you were), you don’t get to undo it in retirement with, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think we did anything wrong.”
3. If you truly are “very proud of how this thing was handled,” you shouldn’t be. At the very least, you shouldn’t admit it.
I know sometimes terrible things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it. I know it’s hard when the good guys get lumped in with the bad guys, or when a couple of bad guys make the whole church look bad. But when something is bad—and bad for everybody—don’t make light.
Terrible things happened. Good people were hurt. And those of us who say we aren’t sorry are the sorriest of all. And that, sir, is reality.