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Report Details Decades Of Child Sex Abuse In Bridgeport Diocese

Mary Altaffer
Cardinal Edward Egan, right, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan laugh outside St. Patrick's Cathedral during the 249th St. Patrick's Day parade in New York in 2010. Egan was Bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport commissioned a report that reveals years of child sexual abuse in the diocese. It also found Cardinal Edward Egan broke the law when he was Bishop in Bridgeport.

Former state Superior Court Judge Robert Holzberg assembled the report. He says Egan didn’t notify law enforcement and took a dismissive attitude toward survivors.

The report found 71 priests within the diocese who were accused of sexual abuse of 281 minors. Ten priests were responsible for more than half of all cases.

“The priests who committed these ghastly acts engaged in criminal acts, they violated their vows and their canonical obligations, and the bishops who failed to report violated their obligations under the mandated reporting law,” Holzberg said.

The majority of abuse took place under longtime Bishop Walter Curtis. Current Bridgeport Bishop Frank Caggiano says all priests who have been credibly accused are either dead or have been removed from ministry.

“It is the sacred duty of the church to protect our young people. And we’re committed to ensure that this grave crime and grave sin will never happen again in our midst,” Caggiano said.

He said the church would begin a long healing process.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.