Sex abuse ‘widespread’ in Catholic Church, Philadelphia judge says

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jeremy Roebuck
Inquirer Staff Writer

The judge in the trial of two Catholic priests and a former priest declared her belief Tuesday that sexual abuse was “widespread” in the Catholic Church.

Reviewing a list of questions to be asked of potential jurors, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina arrived at one that read “Do you believe child sex abuse is a widespread problem in the Catholic Church?” and hesitated.

“Anybody that doesn’t think there is widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is living on another planet,” she said, recommending the question be stricken from the list.

Jeffrey Lindy, part of a team of lawyers hired by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to represent one of the defendants, Msgr. William J. Lynn, responded: “I’m taken aback by that conclusion, frankly.”

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