Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Dies: Potential Witness in Philly Sex Abuse Trial

Religion Dispatches

Post by Anthea Butler

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died last night at the age of 88, just one day after being approved as legally competent to testify in the upcoming sex abuse trial of the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

The trial of Monsignor William Lynn is expected to commence at the end of March 2012, and the case promises to be an explosive one. Prosecutors and the Philadelphia DA want to set a precedent for showing how the archdiocese instructed Monsignor Lynn to move priests from church to church in the hopes that the sexual abuse of children that had been committed in the archdiocese would not be discovered.

The Cardinal, whom church officials said suffered from dementia, was deposed for the upcoming trial in November of 2011. Monsignor Lynn worked under Bevilacqua, and would have taken his orders from the Cardinal concerning abusive priests.

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