Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, in his diocesan newspaper column, expanded on his response to the anonymous letter from clergy expressing no-confidence in his leadership (as well as “a ‘blog” in Philadelphia that specializes in Church gossip” that first published the letter). Heh.
The cardinal argues that the letter wasn’t actually written by any priests, although I doubt this. Certainly most of my clerical readers would probably readily agree that priests can be just as cliquish, clannish, and well bitchy, as any other group of people. They can also be naive enough to believe that an anonymous letter gathering petition signatures and presented to the apostolic nuncio would encourage Rome to accept Egan’s retirement immediately upon him reaching 75.
Egan certainly pulls no punches. Msgr. Howard Calkins comes in for a personal slapdown. Calkins was quoted by name in news reports as giving credence to the complaints in the letter.
The meeting opened with my reading a letter from the above-mentioned Msgr. Calkins that had been delivered to my residence in the morning. It was a partial correction of the misstatements in the tabloid and a curious protest of loyalty. I made no comment on the letter and believe that the priests were pleased that I did not. The assertions and the attempt to water them down were frankly an embarrassment for us all.
Ouch. I’m guessing that the monsignor won’t be getting any plum assignments any time soon.