Posts Tagged philadelphia
Monsignor William Lynn freed from jail
The city’s (Philadelphia) top prosecutor vowed on Tuesday (Aug. 2) to retry a former church official imprisoned for nearly three years over his handling of abuse complaints, even though the monsignor’s conviction has twice been overturned.
“Monsignor William Lynn was the first U.S. Roman Catholic Church official ever charged or convicted of helping to shield child molesters within its ranks.
“A judge on Tuesday agreed to release Lynn from prison days after the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction, concluding the 2012 trial judge allowed too many priest-abuse victims not directly tied to the case to testify. Prosecutors had called the witnesses to show a pattern of behavior at the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
“Lynn was charged with endangering a boy by transferring a suspected predator-priest to his parish in the late 1990s.”
By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story. And this is from Brian Roewe at National Catholic Reporter, “Msgr. Lynn free on bail, Philadelphia DA pledges a retrial.”
Reversal of Msgr. William Lynn’s Conviction in Philadelphia Conveys a Painful Lesson / National Catholic Reporter
“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.
A Roman Catholic priest and a schoolteacher sexually abused a 10-year-old altar boy at different times more than a decade ago, assaulting him in a church sacristy in Northeast Philadelphia and in the back of a car, a prosecutor alleged on Monday (Jan. 13, 2013).” By Jon Hurdle
Priests have been marked with a “bull’s eye” by manipulative accusers who plan to sue the church, a defense lawyer said as Philadelphia’s latest priest-abuse trial opened Monday (Jan. 13, 2013).” By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, in Daily Times