Report critical of church leaders' response to clergy abuse

A new independent report is highly critical of how past leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, including eventual New York Cardinal Edward Egan, responded to reports of clergy sexual abuse dating to the 1950s.

Retired state Judge Robert Holzberg released his report Tuesday during a news conference with Bridgeport Bishop Frank Caggiano.

Holzberg's investigation found 281 people — mostly males between 5 and 18 — were abused by 71 priests since the diocese's founding in 1953.

Holzberg said the response to abuse allegations by previous bishops including Walter Curtis and Egan was inadequate and hostile, and they reassigned accused priests who continued abusing children.

Curtis was bishop from 1961 to 1988. He died in 1997. Egan served as bishop from 1988 to 2000 before becoming New York cardinal. He died in 2015.

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