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From the Editors: We regret to inform our readers that, following this on-the-record conversation, Brennan Manning called our office to apologize. He reiterated that he had been "disoriented, confused, and depressed" lately and that certain details he provided were not true. He did not help identify a child from his apartment complex. He did not help an elderly woman get a ride. And while he was the last one to leave his apartment complex, "the truth is that there was nobody around here for me to help," he said in a voice message to Christianity Today. "The essential truth: I lied."

Having returned to Algiers, a bedroom community 15 minutes south of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Brennan Manning—author of the spiritual classic The Ragamuffin Gospel and the recently published The Importance of Being Foolish—is trying to figure out what to do with his hurricane-invaded life. His voice was halting and wheezing as he thought about it on the phone with senior associate editor Agnieszka Tennant.

Before the mandatory evacuation was ordered, you decided to sit out the hurricane. Why?

I stayed through the hurricane because I have no wife, no children, no relatives here, and thought that maybe I could help the small number of people who remained. I sat here from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. watching the hurricane with awe and wonder at the mind-boggling power of the 95 mile an hour wind. The rain was relentlessly pounding. The following day it was calm. The day after that I walked outside, and I found a lovely neighbor who asked me, "Did you hear the news?" I said no. She said there was a mandatory evacuation of the city because the levees had broken. That gave me a clue to get out of here.

I did see an elderly black woman, somewhere ...

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A 'Coward' Who Stayed to Help
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October 2005

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