September 11 cardinal remembered for the wrong reason

For Catholics, the sticky point about 9/11 is that their leader at the time, Cardinal Edward Egan (pictured), is often remembered for not being in New York City after the event, writes dotCommonweal.

Within 90 minutes of the first attack, Egan would be standing in the doorway of St Vincent's looking south to Wall Street as the World Trade Centre crumbled. He would spend the next several days anointing the dead, distributing rosaries to workers as they searched, mostly in vain, for survivors, and presiding over funerals, sometimes three a day.

However he was not to remain with his stricken flock and was the target of criticism when he left the grieving city for a Vatican synod, a month long international meeting of bishops convened by the pope. 

Egan, who was to work as an aide to John Paul in leading the meeting, said he asked repeatedly for permission to stay in New York, but the pope said Egan was needed in Rome. The cardinal now calls that time, when his loyalty to the city was questioned, “the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life.”

If so, it was a poor decision on Pope John Paul’s part (and one that Egan defended at the time, however reluctantly).

FULL BLOG: Remembering: the church and 9/11 (dotCommonweal)


Cardinal Edward Egan (Archdiocese of New York)

AP Interview: On 9/11, cardinal consoles a city (Sacramento Bee)

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