“This week’s (Dec. 27) court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges …
“Nicholas Cafardi, a canon and civil lawyer at the Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh and former head of the Catholic bishops’ national review board on clergy abuse, said (Pope) Francis must broaden the mandate of the commission (on child abuse) to include his brother bishops.
“‘We have to insist that there be repercussions for any bishop who would re-assign or cover-up for a sexually abusive priest,’ Cafardi wrote in an email. ‘The church will never have closure on this issue unless the larger problem of hierarchical complicity is dealt with.’”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service, Analysis in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of Gibson’s analysis.
As a person commented to an earlier post on the blog, Msgr. Lynn’s conviction was overturned on a legality. As reported in The New York Times on Dec. 27, the day the ruling was handed down: “The reversal of Monsignor Lynn’s conviction turned on disputed interpretations of Pennsylvania’s former child welfare law and does not have legal implications for other states.” The same Times article quoted the appeals court as saying that “the state had provided ‘more than adequate’ evidence that Monsignor Lynn ‘prioritized the archdiocese’s reputation over the safety of potential victims of sexually abusive priests.'” Click here to read Philadelphia Monsignor’s Conviction Overturned in Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse.