A former New York Cardinal has come under fire after admitting he regrets apologizing over the sex abuse scandal in his diocese.

Former Cardinal Edward Egan, who was at the center of the priest abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, told Connecticut Magazine that he believes there is no legal requirement for reporting abuse cases in Connecticut.

Referring to his original apology, the former bishop of Bridgepoint said, "first of all, I should have never said that".

"I did say if we did anything wrong, I'm sorry, but I don't think we did anything wrong."

In the interview, Egan also inferred that many of his accomplishments were over shadowed by the sex abuse scandal.

"I'm not the slightest bit surprised that, of course, the scandal was going to be fun in the news -- not fun, but the easiest thing to write about," he said.

According to ctpost.com, the diocese of Bridgeport paid almost $40 million in settlements to dozens of abuse victims who claimed their abuse in the 1960s was covered up by the church.

The majority of settlements were reached just days before Egan left the diocese and took up his position as the cardinal of New York. It was later revealed that throughout his tenure he failed to report several cases of child sex abuse within the diocese.

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Responding to his comments, David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests told ctpost.com, "Egan is obviously unrepentant, self-absorbed and painfully dismissive of the abject suffering of tens of thousands of deeply wounded men, women and children who have been sexually violated by priests, nuns, bishops, brothers, seminarians and other Catholicofficials,"

"We can't help but believe that many other prelates feel exactly as he does, but are shrewd enough to avoid saying so outside of clerical circles," he added.

Egan retired in 2009; the closest he came to making a formal apology was when he addressed parishioners in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral in April 2002.

"It is clear that today we have a much better understanding of this problem," Egan wrote. "If in hindsight we also discover that mistakes may have been made as regards to prompt removal of priests and assistance to victims, I am deeply sorry."

In other news, a senior Vatican cardinal has said that more than 4,000 cases of sex abuse have been investigated during the last ten years.

Speaking at a conference, American cardinal Joseph William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, described the figure as a 'dramatic increase'

Addressing a crowd at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Cardinal stressed that the Catholic Church had an obligation to report paedophile priests to the police and civil authorities.