Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered two key aides in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to shred all copies of a 1994 memo that identified 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years in church files, was disclosed for the first time Friday in a motion by lawyers for Mgsr. William J. Lynn, the former church official facing trial for enabling abusive priests.

They contend the shredding directive proves the church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse occurred at levels far above Lynn, and that he has been unjustly accused.

“It is beyond doubt that Monsignor Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction,” attorneys Jeffery Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

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